God Says No More Money Laundering

I expect that we will see a see standard in anti-money laundering programs.

Pope Benedict XVI committed the Vatican to the fight against money laundering, counterfeiting and the financing of terrorism. The headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church will now meet international standards of financial transparency. He has established a set of internal regulations which will ensure that the Vatican’s bank, the Institute for Religious Works, will adhere to regulations and cooperate with foreign authorities. The decree creates an independent Vatican watchdog – the Financial Information Authority – which will be tasked with ensuring that all financial transactions comply with internationally accepted norms of the Financial Action Task Force.

In September, Italy’s financial police seized 23 million euros from the Institute for Religious Works after the financial intelligence office at the Bank of Italy noticed two operations by the bank that it deemed suspicious. The move followed claims that it failed to disclose either the sender or recipient involved in a huge transfer of funds.

If a little bit of the papal infallibility rubs off on the Vatican’s anti-money laundering, you would expect it to work.