Vatican financial watchdog gives high marks in 2020 report

Vatican financial watchdog report

The Supervisory and Financial Information Authority (ASIF),  the Vatican financial watchdog, has said fiscal transparency is rising in the city-state in its 2020 report.

It also reported the risk of fraud is lower than ever.

ASIF said that in 2020 more financial transactions were flagged as suspicious by Vatican offices. Yet, after investigation, it did not have to suspend any transactions or freeze any accounts.

ASIF reported it received 89 suspicious activity reports in 2020, 85 of which came from the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), commonly called the Vatican bank. In 2019, 64 suspicious activity reports were filed.

After reviewing documents connected to the 89 transactions, the authority submitted 16 reports to the Office of the Promoter of Justice of Vatican City State for potential criminal investigation, the report said.

“Most potential financial crimes involve foreign entities or conduct undertaken in, or in connection with, foreign jurisdictions. The main potential predicate offences are international fraud and embezzlement,” the annual report said.

Pope Benedict XVI established the authority in 2010 to bring the Vatican up to international standards in preventing and countering suspected money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

President Carmelo Barbagallo said 2020 has been a year “of important and profound changes” for ASIF.

The organisation had to rebuild after its director Tommaso Di Ruzza, and president René Brülhart were ousted at the end of 2019.

Both men will go on trial in connection with the London Affair, a real estate transaction. The trial starts July 27 in the Vatican.

The Vatican financial watchdog report emphasises that “the Holy See is strongly committed to ensuring international cooperation and the exchange of information for the purposes of preventing tax evasion and facilitating the fulfilment of fiscal requirements by foreign citizens and legal entities having relations with the IOR”.


La Croix International

National Catholic Register

Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , ,