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Vatican bank publishes 2015 annual report

VATICAN CITY (CNS): The Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR)—informally called the Vatican bank— released its annual report for the 2015 fiscal year on May 12, presenting the document during a round-table event with Vatican Radio and L’Osservatore Romano.

The bank reported a net profit in 2015 of $142.5 million ($16.1 million) compared to $613.42 million ($69.3 million) euros in 2014.

Gian Franco Mammi, the institute’s director general, said that although reported profits are lower than the previous year, 2015 “has been compatibly profitable, considering the objective difficulties of the market, its volatility and the crises that have occurred, such as Greece.”

He added, “We can say that, for our part, however, efficient and dignified work has been done. This year’s profit is compatible with the economic and political scenario of the time, and also considering that we have just finished an important transition phase.”

In his introduction to the report, Monsignor Battista Ricca, prelate of the institute, stressed that, “The IOR is not, and must not become, a for-profit institution, much less a simple money-making machine. It is, rather, a canonical foundation called to promote works of religion.”

He wrote, “In that sense, just as our Holy Father is a servant of servants, so it is my sincere hope that our institute will continue to aspire to mirror in its work the notion of helping others do their good works in the world more effectively.” 

In a press release on May 12,  the IOR highlighted the adoption of several regulatory frameworks that include anti-money laundering measures, Know Your Customer protocols and a remediation process to address “past tax uncertainties and the strengthening of IOR’s governance and control functions.”

It said that the remediation process led to the closing of 4,935 accounts between June 2013 and December 2015. “Procedures in place are diligently applied to all new customer and related activities,” the report said.

As of 31 December 2015, the IOR had 14,801 clients with assets of $51.3 billion ($5.8 billion).

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