The Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), is systematically closing the accounts of lay people who are not directly connected with the Holy See, the Vatican Insider reports.
As part of a thorough reform, the IOR is tightening controls on
The IOR will only hold accounts for Catholic
institutions and religious orders, clerics, employees and former
employees of the Vatican, and diplomats accredited to the Holy See.
bank is now closing the accounts of all clients who do not fall into one
of those categories.
The IOR has been working steadily to counter complaints that the bank
had been vulnerable to money-laundering.
But in closing accounts, IOR
officials said that they did not mean to suggest that the
account-holders were under suspicion.
Rather, the bank is pursuing a
series of reforms intended to ensure that the institution is focused on
the original purpose for which it was founded, to provide support for
religious works, rather than to function as an ordinary bank.