Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018
STRASBOURG

Moneyval OKs Vatican financial transparency progress report

Strasbourg, December 9 - The Council of Europe's
Moneyval anti-money-laundering agency approved its report Monday
on progress made by the Holy See in the area of financial
transparency.
According to Moneyval internal regulations, this means that
the monitoring agency is satisfied with the information provided
by the Holy See and the progress made since 2012.
Its report is expected to be made public next week.
The Vatican Bank, officially known as the Institute for
Religious Works (IOR), has come under intense scrutiny in recent
years in connection with allegations of money laundering and
other suspicious activities.
Last year, Moneyval said in a report that the Vatican had
made progress on financial transparency but still needed to
improve in many areas.
Since his election as pope in March, Francis has taken
steps to deal with the array of financial scandals surrounding
the Vatican Bank.
He signaled his deep interest in change by warning early on
that if the institution could not adapt to greater transparency
in its operations and adherence to international banking
standards, it might even have to be shut down.
In August, Pope Francis issued new regulations at the Holy
See in a papal decree known as a Motu Proprio, part of the
pope's drive to clean up the Holy See's reputation on financial
transparency.
The Vatican followed that by signing an agreement with
Italian authorities over the exchange of financial and banking
information and the IOR has opened a website and begun
publishing annual reports in a transparency drive.
In October, the Vatican's Pontifical Commission passed new
financial laws designed to increase transparency, surveillance
and improve regulations to bring them into compliance with
international standards including efforts to prevent and fight
money-laundering and terror financing.
The new laws will also boost the power and responsibilities
of the Vatican's Financial Information Authority (AIF) to fight
financial crime as well as providing for a stronger prudential
role.
Reforms have also included shutting client accounts that
were not considered to be consistent with the bank's religious
mission, Ernst von Freyberg, president of the Vatican bank, said
in a report last month.
It also gives the AIF "the function of prudential
supervision over entities habitually engaged in financial
activities," in response to a recommendation from Moneyval.
The Vatican Bank and several of its employees have been
probed by Italian magistrates in the past.

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