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Vatican Bank says it is ready to rejoin banking system at large

Jan. 22, 2014 at 12:05 PM

VATICAN CITY, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- The Vatican Bank said it has implemented money laundering prevention measures that would allow it to resume relations with mainstream Italian banks.

In 2010, the Bank of Italy ordered the Vatican bank, officially called the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR, to adopt changes to bring its money laundering prevention up to code.

At that point, Italian banks retreated from their interactions with the Vatican bank, ANSA reported Wednesday.

"The IOR looks forward to a resumption of full interaction with Italian financial institutions pending review by Italian regulatory authorities of the Holy See/Vatican City State's anti-money laundering provisions," the Vatican Bank said in a statement.

"The IOR has implemented further reforms to enhance its overall risk management function and to allow for a high level of transparency for the overall process," the statement said.

The Council of Europe's Moneyval agency, a bank watchdog group, noted the IOR's progress in implementing new security measures in December.

The council also said more work remained to elevate Italy's crime prevention programs in the financial sector to allow the country to be added to the "white list" of countries with strong financial crime prevention credentials, ANSA said.

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