The Vatican has just jumped another or Moneyval’s hurdles.
comments made during the Plenary Meeting of the Committee of Experts on
the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of
Terrorism, were promising.
Moneyval is reviewing the progress the Holy See is making in
“the right direction” in terms of meeting the goals set by the
The Holy See is not quite there yet but
“significant progress has been made” in reaching the goals set by
Moneyval in January 2012.
Moneyval measures the Holy See’s progress
against “the core and, in addition, key recommendations of the FATF, the
international standards on combating money laundering and the financing
of terrorism,” a communiqué issued by the Holy See today reads.
The evaluation does not take into consideration all recommendations
examined in the first report but only those considered to be “core”, in
accordance with Moneyval’s rules of procedure, and a set of “key”
recommendations requested by the Holy See.
The positive result is partly
thanks to the reforms to the Vatican’s financial structures which
Francis has set in motion: he got rid of the Vatican bank’s old
directors and top figures within the Administration of the Patrimony of
the Apostolic See (APSA). He then created two commissions, one to report
on the Vatican bank (IOR) and another on the Holy See’s
The Pope recently nominated his trusted secretary, Mgr. Alfred
Xuereb, as head of both commissions; he has continued the process of
bringing the Holy See in line with international anti-money laundering
and financing of terrorism norms which the Council of Europe’s committee
Moneyval is overseeing. Francis has also put Promontory Financial Group
and Ernst&Young in charge of the IOR-APSA and Governorate’s
In recent days the Financial Times
published an an article on the results of an 11-month investigation it
carried out, which attests the progress the Holy See has under Francis
who “is bringing glasnost to the Vatican.” The Vatican has decided to
reform the IOR after pressure from big global financial institutions
like Deutsch Bank, JPMorgan and UniCredit.
These institutions ended up
in the spotlight of regulatory bodies as a result of their dealings with
the Holy See. In its article titled “Call to account: FT probe of Vatican Bank”, the Financial Times
writes: “The Vatican bank is closing hundreds of accounts after coming
under pressure from the world’s biggest financial institutions to clean
up its act.”
The City daily writes that it “interviewed two dozen bankers,
lawyers, regulators and Catholic insiders over 11 months to understand
how the murky operations of a bank with €5bn in assets, and which says
its aim is to serve the global mission of the Catholic Church, had
unnerved bankers, regulators and governments across Europe and the US.”
“Correspondent banks moved as much as €2bn a year from the Vatican’s
bank to other accounts across the globe,” a Vatican spokesman apparently
told the Financial Times.
In Monday’s communiqué, the Holy See Press Office confirms that
“Moneyval welcomes clarifications and improvements to the anti-money
laundering and combating financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) legal
structure of the Holy See and the Vatican City State and confirms that
significant progress has been made.”