The Vatican still has a lot of work to do over financial transparency, according to a report by the Council of Europe’s Moneyval, which has assessed the Catholic Church’s scandal-plagued bank.
The report criticised the bank’s management and said it was “partially compliant” or “non compliant” on seven of its 16 “core and key recommendations”.
The negative grades were given for insufficient diligence toward customers, insufficient compliance on reporting of suspicious transactions and insufficient supervision and monitoring.
As a result, Moneyval says the Vatican city state still has a long way to go before it can be included on an international ‘white list’ of countries that abide by global norms on money laundering, financing of terrorism and tax evasion.
This report comes as the Vatican is struggling to contain a widening corruption scandal that alleged wrongdoing in its business dealings with Italian companies.
The former president of the Vatican bank was recently ousted in a dramatic boardroom showdown.
Italian magistrates are still investigating money laundering charges which the Vatican denies.
Moneyval said the Vatican has come a long way in a short period of time and that the building blocks to combat money laundering were in place, but a lot more is yet to be done if it wants to make it onto the ‘white list’.
A decision on that is at least a year away, which gives the Vatican more time to come into compliance.
The Vatican is a 108-acre city-state surrounded by Rome and is the location of the Holy See, which is recognised by more than 170 countries as the centre of the 1.2 billion member Roman Catholic Church with the pope as its sovereign.
It is the world’s smallest state, with around 500 residents.
The Vatican bank is officially known as the Institute for Works of Religion – IOR. It has been trying to shed its image as a suspect financial centre since 1982, when Roberto Calvi, an Italian known as ‘God’s Banker’ because of his links to the Vatican, died under mysterious circumstances.
Moneyval is “The Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism”. It is the Council of Europe’s monitoring mechanism to ensures member states comply with international financial standards.
More information on the Council of Europe website