No confidence in Vatican banker

The board of the Vatican Bank is looking for a new president after it voted unanimously on May 24 to remove Ettore Gotti Tedeschi as president.

The Vatican announced the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) is “looking ahead to the search for a new and distinguished president who can assist the IOR to regain effective and wider relations between the institute and the financial community, based on the shared respect of accepted international banking standards.”

The bank, whose reputation took a blow last year after an investigation into money laundering, fired Tedeschi after a prolonged period stained by financial scandal.

Tedeschi was removed for failing “to carry out various duties of primary importance,” according to a statement by Vatican spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi SJ.

Tedeschi is reported to have told prosecutors that he barely paid attention to the working of the bank, turning up only two days a week, preferring to deal with his primary position as head of Spain’s Banco Santander’s Italian unit.

There is also the suggestion that Tedeschi may have leaked confidential documents to serve his personal and political interests.

Tedeschi was taken by surprise last year when Italian prosecutors in 2010 seized €23 million from a Rome bank account registered to the IOR amid suspicions of money-laundering violations.

He also teaches ethics in finance at Milan’s Catholic University.


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