Moneyval publishes its first report evaluating the Vatican

Source: FSSPX News

Moneyval, the organization responsible for evaluating anti-money-laundering systems in the European States, published on July 18, 2012, its first report on the Vatican.  The committee of experts deemed “in conformity to a large extent” the system of preventive measures implemented by the Holy See in order to comply with the international criteria.  The Vatican thus obtained a satisfactory grade for 9 of the 16 “essential” recommendations—out of a total of 49 recommendations.

The report also singles out several positive points, notably the compliance of the Holy See and of the Vatican City State with international conventions on money-laundering, and their criminalization of financial transactions that disguise ill-gotten gains.  A positive judgment was issued also on the measures aimed at promoting international cooperation in the fight against money-laundering and terrorism.

On the other hand, among the areas needing improvement we find “better monitoring of physical or legal persons able to keep an account at the Institute for Works of Religion (Istituto per le Opere di Religione, IOR)”, “better supervision of the Financial Information Authority (AIF) and of the IOR”, “insuring the effectiveness of the measures taken within the IOR” and “the implementation of possible sanctions against those responsible”.

According to the European organization, “the Vatican authorities have come a very long way in a very short time.”  Yet important questions remain to be dealt with in order to “prove the operative effectiveness of the system,” it notes in particular.  Commenting on this report during a press conference held the same day as its publication, Msgr. Ettore Balestrero, undersecretary in charge of Relations with the States, considered that the Vatican “has laid the foundations for a solid, lasting system of fighting against money-laundering and the financing of terrorism,” so as to become “a reliable partner of the international community”, he added.

(Sources:  apic/imedia – DICI no. 259 dated August 10, 2012)