Vatican passes law to fight money laundering
Norms designed to meet global standards09 October, 16:06
The legislation passed Tuesday by the Pontifical Commission "reinforces the current internal system of prevention, combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism," in line with the recommendations of the global Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Vatican press office said in a statement. The new law will also boost the power and responsibilities of the Vatican's Financial Information Authority (AIF) to fight financial crime as well as providing for a stronger prudential role.
"With this law, we have finished 90% of the work," required in the planned reforms of Vatican financial system, said the head of the Vatican press office, Father Federico Lombardi.
At the centre of the efforts, initiated by the former pope Benedict, are reforms to the Vatican's bank, which has been engaged in a major house cleaning operation.
Reforms have included anti-money laundering measures and shutting client accounts that are not consistent with the bank's religious mission, Ernst von Freyberg, president of the Vatican bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), said recently.
"The IOR is engaged in a process of comprehensive reform, to foster the most rigorous professional and compliance standards," the president wrote in a recent report.
"These efforts are based on the legal framework set forth by the Vatican, in cooperation with international bodies," wrote von Freyberg.
"This includes implementing strict anti-money laundering processes and improving our internal structures," he added.