The Vatican Bank (Istituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR), Banca Vaticana) was founded on June 27, 1942 by Pope Pius XII and is located inside the Vatican City.
Only Church institutions, dioceses, diplomats and Vatican employees/pensioners are allowed to open accounts in the Bank – which you’d think would make it the most moral bank in the world. The company provides a range of financial services including asset management, deposit and pension products, custodial functions and international payment transfers.
There are no anonymous accounts. The Bank does not provide loans and does not offer internet-based services. It is not a bank in the normal definition of the term. In fact, it doesn’t lend money or act as a consultant to businesses. It is more a fund deposit and transfer financial institution than a bank. The IOR doesn’t invest in the stock market, though it operates on the currency or bond market, or buy gold. To trade in markets it must go through other banks, such as Credito Valtellinese.
The Bank is run by a professional bank CEO who reports directly to a committee of cardinals, and ultimately to the Pope. Its assets are not considered property of the Holy See and it is not overseen by the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy, instead it’s considered a charitable foundation affiliated with the Vatican.
The Institute was involved in a major political and financial scandal in the 1980s, concerning the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, of which it was a major shareholder. The head of the Vatican Bank from 1971 to 1989, Father Paul Marcinkus, was under consideration for indictment in 1982 as an accessory of the bankruptcy. In 2010, Benedict XVI established the Financial Information Authority as an independent agency to monitor the financial activities of the Vatican Bank and other Vatican-related institutions.
The Bank’s President, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was removed from his post in May 2012, for dereliction of duty. The current President of IOR is Jean-Baptiste de Franssu, a French financier. The Bank’s gold is deposited with the US Federal Reserve, and precious coins and medals are kept in the IOR vaults. In June 2017, the Vatican Bank released its annual report.
The Institute for Religious Works (IOR) has EUR 5.7 billion in total client assets and serves 14,960 clients of which about 4,300 Catholic Institutions and 10,700 individuals.
|Profit for the year, €m||36.001||16.127|
|Total assets, €b||3.269||3.204|
|Number of customers||14,960||14,801|
|Number of employees||102||109|
– Commissione Cardinalizia (Supervisory Commission of Cardinals) is composed of five cardinals appointed by the Pope.
– Prelato (Prelate) is appointed by the Cardinals’ Commission.
– Consiglio di Sovrintendenza (Board of Superintendence) is responsible for the administration and management of the Institute. It is appointed by the Cardinals’ Commission and is composed of five members, who serve for five years.
– Revisori (Auditors)
November 30, 2017
Giulio Mattietti, Vatican Bank’s Deputy Director was removed from his position for unknown reasons.
Head office address:
Cortile Sisto V
00120 Vatican City
Vatican City State
Phone number: +39 06 698 83 354
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, 8.00 am – 16.30 pm
Identifier Code: IOPRVAVX