Pope Francis sets up Vatican bank inquiry

Pope Francis sets up Vatican bank inquiry
Pope Francis has set up a review of the Vatican bank following money-laundering allegations. Photo: Wikicommons
Pope Francis has set up an inquiry into the activities of the Vatican bank, which has been embroiled by allegations of money-laundering, according to a statement from the Vatican.

The Pontifical Commission is being overseen by senior cleric, Raffaele Farina, and will investigate the bank's legal structure with the aim of "harmonizing" its activities with "the  mission of the Apostolic See."

The bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), failed to meet international transparency standards intended to fight money-laundering, according to a report last year by Moneyval, a European anti-money laundering body.

The commission also includes Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard law professor, and three other senior clerics: French cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, Spanish bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru and US cleric Monsignor Peter Bryan Wells.

German lawyer Ernst von Freyberg was appointed the bank's new chairman in February after his predecessor was dismissed amid a money-laundering inquiry.

The bank was established in 1942 to manage assets destined for religious work and charities. It also manages the pension scheme and accounts of thousands of Vatican employees, priests and nuns.

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