The RNLI has admitted to shortcomings in some of its financial controls early in the decade after investigating claims by an anonymous whistleblower that three senior managers received payments totalling £390,000 without full trustee authorisation.
The payments related to staff who departed between 2000 and 2005.
The whistleblower told the Charity Commission that the employees were dismissed, but an RNLI spokesman said two were made redundant and a third retired because of ill health. The spokesman said trustee approval had not been required for ex-gratia payments at the time of the first departure in 2000. The second payment, in 2002, should have been approved by all the trustees but was approved only by some. The third payment, in 2005, was approved correctly.
"Financial controls weren't as good as they should have been," said the spokesman.
He said that all ex-gratia staff payments of £100,000 or more now had to be approved by a remuneration committee and that the charity's financial controls were now among the best in the sector.