#AceFinanceNews – ROME – APRIL 07 – Pope Francis has decided that the troubled Vatican Bank will remain operational and he has approved recommendations for its future, the Vatican said on Monday.
The bank “will continue to serve with prudence and provide specialized financial services to the Catholic Church worldwide,” Reuters reported, citing a Vatican statement.
Until now the Pope had not ruled out closing the bank.
Decades of Scandals:
Report by Aljazeera – October 02 2013 – The Vatican bank, dogged for decades by scandals and opaque dealings, has published the first annual report in its 125-year history.
The report covered 2012, a tumultuous year that saw the bank’s former president ousted in a boardroom battle and leaks of documents on internal disagreements on how it should be run.
Bank President Ernst Von Freyberg, who started his job this year, said the 100-page report released on Tuesday was an attempt to meet the commitment to transparency that Catholics around the world “rightfully expect”.
A five-member committee appointed by Pope Francis, who has promised to clean up the Vatican’s financial image, is also preparing a report on how to reform the bank, officially known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR).
The IOR said that in 2012 it had a net profit of $117m, more than four times greater than the $27m profit in 2011.
It when onto say the institution, however, has been enmeshed in scandals in the past three decades, most notably in 1982 when it was caught up in the fraudulent bankruptcy of Italy’s Banco Ambrosiano, whose president Roberto Calvi was found hanged under a bridge in London.
More recently, it has been caught up in an investigation by Italian magistrates into Money laundering, which the bank denies, and the arrest of a Vatican prelate who has been charged with money smuggling.
Pope Francis has not excluded the possibility of closing down the IOR but most likely it will soon see extensive reform.