July 18, 2012. (Romereports.com)
The Vatican has approved a control on their financial transparency
as laid out by Council of Europe's economic branch called Moneyval
. The group has been assessing the compliance by countries on regulations against money laundering and financing terrorist groups.MSGR. ETTORE BALESTRERO
Head of Vatican delegation to Moneyval“For the Holy See, this process is first and foremost moral rather than a technical commitment.”
The Vatican passed 9 out of 16 benchmarks, which Moneyval said were fundamental to consider a State is acting in accordance with international standards.
MSGR. ETTORE BALESTRERO
Head of Vatican delegation to Moneyval“The criminal law is significantly improved, by providing a comprehensive definition of money laundering, and an array of predicate crimes in line with the international standards, as well as to freeze and confiscate the proceeds of money laundering, and the fighting of terrorism activity has been strengthened.”
The report highlights the long road that the Vatican has traveled in a very short time, but there are still seven areas that should be strengthened.MSGR. ETTORE BALESTRERO
Head of Vatican delegation to Moneyval“There are some concerns expressed in the report regarding the use of an IOU to establish the basis for international cooperation between financial intelligence units. We feel that the adoption of this requirement, which is in line with international standards, represents the right approach for the Vatican, which has a smaller jurisdiction.”
Among these areas for improvement is a stated “lack of clarity in the mission, the competence, the powers and independence” of Vatican financial police
, a body created in 2010 with the aim of ensuring the Vatican Bank respects international rules.MSGR. ETTORE BALESTRERO
Undersecretary for Relations with States“The report notes that the original structure of a financial intelligence authority which combines the financial intelligence unit function and the regulatory functions of a supervisor, appear to create difficulties.”
As a solution, Moneyval strongly recommends appointing an independent supervisor. After the report, both the European Commission and the Vatican's representative, Ettore Balestrero, say the new measures are a step in the right direction but certainly not the last.