Vatican bank posts big jump in net profits for 2014
(Vatican Radio) The IOR, the Institute for Works of Religion, released its Annual Report for 2014 on Monday, showing a net profit of 69.3 million Euros, a substantial increase from the 2.9 million reported in 2013.
IOR media officer Max Hehnberg told Vatican Radio that 2014 was a positive year financially, but “within the norm” for what is widely known as the Vatican bank. The net gains, the Institute said, are the result of a reorganization of the accounts and “mainly due to an increase in the Net Trading Income from securities and a decline in extraordinary operating expenses.”
“The main focus is on fundamentally improving our overall client service standards and further professionalizing our asset management services”, said Jean-Baptiste de Franssu in a statement. “Next to providing seamless and reliable payment solutions this is at the core of our plan within the new regulatory framework introduced in the Vatican and given the recently signed tax agreement between the Holy See and Italy”.
The statement said further strengthening of IOR compliance culture and resources is a priority coupled with the establishment of new internal audit and risk management functions. In particular, the systematic efforts towards implementation of anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures under supervision of Vatican regulator AIF have continued and procedures are regularly monitored and further developed where necessary.
The Vatican Bank serves some 15,000 customers who maintain 6 billion euro in assets entrusted to the IOR. From May 2013 to 31 December 2014 the IOR closed 4,614 relationships with its customers, of which 2,600 were “dormant” or inactive or small balance accounts. 554 accounts were closed which did not fit in the categories of authorized client accounts and a further 1,460 were terminated for natural attrition. Another 274 accounts are in the process of termination.