` Pope Francis rules that the ` Vatican Bank ‘ will remain `Operational ‘ with Approved Recommendations ‘

#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.

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” Vatican Hires International Consultancy Firms to Improve Their Financial Procedures”

#AceFinanceNews says VATICAN CITY, December 19 (CNA/EWTN News) .- The Vatican has hired two international consulting firms to modernize Holy See communications and to improve financial procedures throughout the Vatican’s agencies.

Vatican City

Vatican City (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

“An advisory role has been entrusted to McKinsey & Company for the development – in close collaboration with the heads of the relevant offices – of an integrated plan to give the organisation of means of communication within the Holy See more functional, effective and modern,” the Holy See press office announced Dec. 19

The decision was made the previous day, on the initiative of the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See, after a bidding and selection process. The commission was established under Pope Francis to study and streamline Vatican administration.

“The consultancy project will aim to provide the Commission with the information needed to make appropriate recommendations to the Holy Father,” the press office’s communique noted.

The Vatican has six different communications departments: the press office;a television station; a radio broadcaster; a newspaper; an internet office; and a communications council, which exercises an academic and policy-making role.

McKinsey & Company is a US-based company that describes itself as a “management consulting firm,” the mission of which is “to help our clients make distinctive, lasting, and substantial improvements in their performance.” The firm declined to comment to CNA about the partnership, citing its confidentiality policy.

The decision to hire the firm to improve the Holy See’s communications efforts follows quickly upon the launch of a revamped website for the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, on Dec. 17.

In addition to its communications makeover, the Holy See announced it is hiring Dutch-based KPMG to “align the accounting procedures of all agencies of the Holy See with international standards.”

The hire of KPMG, a “global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services,”  comes in the midst of ongoing financial reform at the Vatican, and is the latest in a series of external hires.

Promontory Financial Group has been hired to review the accounts and procedures of the Institute for Religious Works, or “Vatican bank,” and Ernst & Young is auditing the Vatican’s internal finances.

 

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