Commission reviews its handling of trustee dispute at actors’ charity after complaint

27 Sep 2023 News

Actors Benevolent Fund logo

The Charity Commission is reviewing its handling of a trustee dispute at the Actors’ Benevolent Fund (ABF), after it received a complaint.

Former trustees criticised the Commission for its handling of the dispute, after it opened a compliance case into the charity.

Actor Penelope Keith, former president of the ABF, accused the regulator of legitimising a board takeover of the charity, the Guardian reported.

Keith said the regulator had disregarded the law, breached its own code of conduct, and acted in biased and discriminatory fashion.

A Charity Commission spokesperson said: “We have a clear complaints process that is open to everyone. We can confirm that we have received a complaint about our handling of the case involving ABF and are dealing with it in line with those standard procedures.

“We have engaged with the Actors’ Benevolent Fund extensively in recent months to help the charity move forward from a damaging dispute. We hope and expect all parties to the dispute will work together in the interests of the charity and its beneficiaries.”

The Guardian reported a joint statement on Monday evening from ABF: “We confirm that mediation will take place very soon and until this important process is complete it would be unhelpful to comment further. 

“All parties maintain they have the best interests of the charity’s future in mind and are committed to the ability of the charity to serve its beneficiaries and members to the full in the coming years.”

The regulator’s data for the 2021 calendar year puts the charity’s total income at £1.83m and total expenditure of £1.65m.

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