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article imageVatican Bank profits plunge

By Ryan Hite     Jul 8, 2014 in World
The controversial Vatican bank has seen its 2013 profit wiped out due to a clean-up process which has seen it end relationships with about 3,000 customers.
The Vatican Bank, known officially as the Institute for Religious Works, reported a 2.9m euro profit for the year, down from 86.6m euros in 2012.
Most of the losses came from the winding up of investments made before its reform program began. Without these, The Vatican claims profit would have been about 70m euros.
Pope Francis has sought to stamp out corruption and other financial abuses at the Vatican bank, which handles all the funds for the Catholic Church.
He pledged to clean up the bank following accusations of laundering and a lack of due diligence which allowed non-religious, and even some mafia related individuals, to hold accounts.
Between May 2013 until June 2014, outside experts combed through all the bank's accounts in what the Vatican said was the "systematic screening of all existing customer records".
As a result, it had terminated 2,600 "dormant" accounts which had seen no activity for a very long time as well as 396 more customers who didn't meet the criteria for doing business with the bank.
It said that a further 359 customer accounts which didn't meet its criteria were in the process of being terminated.
"I repeatedly said that I would proceed with zero tolerance for any suspicious activity. We have carried out our reforms in this spirit," said the President of the bank, Ernst von Freyberg.
His statement came ahead of an announcement on Wednesday which is expected to detail the re-structuring at the bank.
More about vatican bank, Vatican, Catholic Church, pope francis
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