The charity watchdog has confirmed it investigated concerns about the management of finances at the Greenwich Islamic Centre late last year, triggering an internal review by the organisation’s management.

Greenwich Council also confirmed it was liaising with the Charity Commission to get more information on the complaint, after stating it had no knowledge of the commission’s involvement.

Responding to enquiries from the local democracy reporting service last month, a Charity Commission spokesperson confirmed its office had “recently engaged with the charity Greenwich Islamic Centre (GIC) around issues of governance and financial controls”.

“We contacted the trustees and assessed concerns before issuing the charity with advice and guidance. We expect the trustees to take this advice seriously and act on it. Should further concerns come to light we would assess them,” the spokesperson said.

The commission said among the advice issued to trustees was instructions on how to manage finances at the Plumstead-based mosque.

However, the charity watchdog confirmed its engagement did not include reference to the government’s Syrian Persons Resettlement scheme, which involves Greenwich Council.

The council receives government funding for the scheme, which is allocated to selected partner organisations offering support to refugees who have recently arrived to the UK.

The GIC is one of the organisations Greenwich Council partners with to provide specific services to Syrian refugee families.

The commission’s intervention was initially referred to by a member of the public at a meeting of Greenwich Council earlier this year, when council leader Dan Thorpe was asked if he was aware of the watchdog’s involvement.

Cllr Thorpe said he was “not aware of the intervention” but added he was confident of  the “significant oversight and management of this project”, referring to the resettlement scheme.

“We’ve only experienced, as councillors, positive experiences of those projects,” the council leader said.

“From a broader perspective, GIC is very much a friend of the council and a great asset to our borough and if anyone would like to make a complaint as you clearly have a grievance you can pursue that with the charity commission or with our auditor and I’ll leave it there.”

A council spokesperson last month confirmed again it was not aware of the intervention by the charity watchdog and said it had contacted the commission to learn more.

Responding to enquiries from the local democracy reporting service, a GIC statement said: “As (with) any large organisation up and down the country GIC has received some complaints”.

The spokesperson said trustees put in place a “professional independent review that was open and transparent” following the commision’s concerns, which they said was triggered by a “complaint from one individual”.

The GIC said their independent review panel “concluded that these complaints were unfounded and fabricated”.

The panel also put forward a number of recommendations “that would make the centre stronger than what it is now for the benefit of all 20,000 Muslims that live in this borough and all other users”.

Trustees said the Charity Commission was subsequently “satisfied and closed the case due to the openness and the willingness of the trustees of the centre to resolve any issues”.

The GIC issued a warning saying it would pursue legal action if someone sought to “tarnish” south London’s largest Muslim community.

“Over decades Greenwich Islamic Centre has built strong links with many partners across the RBG, UK and around the world to build on the strong community ethos that we have in place,” the centre said.

The GIC would “not accept baseless slander and individuals’ bias opinions” and it therefore “strongly advised whoever has valid queries should contact the GIC directly before making such defamation and misinformation publicly”.

“We are a charity who are long standing with all stakeholders since 1975 however, legal advice/action will be sought if such defamation to tarnish the largest Muslim community in South London is seen.”