Vatican Bank May Fail Transparency Test
June 17, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI attends the Council to the Episcopal Conferences of Italy at the Vatican on May 24, 2012.

ROME - The Vatican may fail to pass transparency tests next month carried out by the Council of Europe, an Italian newspaper said Sunday.

Moneyval, the Council of Europe's anti-money laundering experts, is due to rule at the beginning of July on the whether the Holy See has cleaned up its act to international monetary standards.

According to Italian daily newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano, which claims to have knowledge of the main elements of a report by the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism, the Vatican is at risk of scoring unsatisfactory ratings for eight out of 16 "key recommendations".

It would therefore fail to be included on a "white list" of transparent states.

Pope Benedict XVI wanted better transparency for its bank, officially known as the Institute for Religious Works, which handles donations and is where some religious figures hold accounts.

In the past, suspected laundered funds, including from the mafia, have passed through the bank, giving rise to major scandals.

Italian investigators are conducting a probe into suspicious transactions.

At the end of 2010, a new institution entrusted to an Italian cardinal was created to better track obscure banking operations.

Moneyval must decide at its general meeting in Strasbourg if the Vatican bank reforms are "largely compliant", "compliant", "partially compliant", or "non compliant".

The former president of the bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was forced to resign in May after he failed to clean up the image of an institution that has come to symbolise the opacity and scandal gripping the Holy See's administration.


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