Pope calls bean counters to beat Vatican fraud

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Ernst & Young has started a review of the Vatican's finances. Photo: AFP
11:09 CET+01:00
Ernst & Young, the global consultancy firm, has begun a review of the Vatican's finances after Pope Francis called for an overhaul to the system following a series of fraud allegations.

A team from Ernst & Young was given the mandate to “perform a check and assess the economic activities of the Holy See’s management and administration”, on November 15th, according to a report in the business daily, Il Sole 24 Ore.

The results will be handed to a commission set up by Pope France in June in the wake of money-laundering allegations against the Vatican bank.

The bank, established in 1942 and 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.

In October, the bank disclosed its annual report for the first time in its history as it seeks to improve transparency.

“With the publication of our Annual Report, we are meeting our commitment to provide the transparency about our activities which the Catholic Church, our customers, the Vatican authorities, our correspondent banks and the public rightfully expect,” Ernst von Freyberg, president of the board of superintendence, said in a statement at the time.

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The review will also assess the financial activities of the Vatican’s other businesses, including its museums, post office and tax-free department store. 

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