A PRESTWICH-based charity is being investigated amid ‘serious financial and governance concerns’ about loans totalling more than £1.7m.

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into the MB Foundation, also known as the Mossad Horav Aryeh Halevy.

The charity, which operates in the Bury area and Israel, lists its activities as providing financial support to help relieve sickness and poverty.

The regulator said it had opened the inquiry into the MB Foundation over ‘serious financial and governance concerns’.

The charity, whose registered address is Fairways House, George Street, Prestwich, reportedly failed to submit documentation in relation to four loans totalling over £1.7 million.

The MB Foundation was previously part of the commission’s ‘double defaulters’ class inquiry for failing to submit annual accounts for the financial years ending March 31, 2014 and March 31, 2015.

The Charity Commission said subsequent scrutiny of the accounts and information received from the trustees raised several concerns about the charity’s governance, in particular, the trustees’ handling of conflicts of interest.

The listed trustees of the charity are Rabbi Mordechai Bamberger and his brother Solomon Bamberger.

A Charity Commission spokesman said: “The charity, whose trustees are all brothers, carried out several transactions with companies and individuals directly connected to the trustees or the trustees’ family members.

“This included a total of four loans to a connected company totalling over £1.7m.

“The trustees have so far failed to provide the commission with any formal documentation in relation to these loans.

“Furthermore, the trustees did not provide information to demonstrate they had adequately identified or managed conflicts of interest.”

In the release, issued in the past week, the Charity Commission gave details of what the inquiry will focus on.

They said: “It will examine the trustees’ decision-making; particularly regarding loans and investments, whether the trustees have adequately managed potential conflicts of interests and if there has been any unauthorised or indirect private benefit.

“It will look into whether the charity has suffered any financial loss as a result of any mismanagement or misconduct and whether trustees have fulfilled their duties and responsibilities under charity law.

“The commission may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerge.”

They stressed that the opening of an inquiry is not a finding of wrongdoing.

The commission said that the findings of the inquiry would be published at a later date.

They said: “It is the commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were.”

The charity has been contacted for comment.