Cardinals review Vatican Bank's 2012 balance sheet

(ANSA) - Vatican City, April 12 - The Vatican Bank's 2012 accounts were reviewed on Friday by a committee of cardinals after they had been approved by the supervisory committee, headed by German President Ernst von Freyberg, Vatican sources told ANSA.

The cardinals were part of the oversight committee, which is overseen by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the body's president and former Vatican secretary of state under retired pope Benedict XVI.

The Vatican Bank is also known as the Institute of Religious works (IOR).

Von Freyberg, together with IOR managing director Paolo Cipriani, hosted a dinner for the committee in the Vatican two days ago.

The Vatican Bank has been at the center of scrutiny over alleged money laundering and has vowed to deliver a complete report in December on measures it is taking.

On Wednesday it announced it was continuing to work with the Council of Europe's Moneyval agency on an evaluation of national measures to meet global standards, and will deliver a progress report in December.

That report is also expected to include "a more complete overview of the measures taken in the last year to further strengthen its institutional framework in prevention of money laundering and financing of terrorism".

In a damning report last July, Moneyval said the Holy See had made some progress on financial transparency, but complained that many more reforms were needed.

It gave the bank positive grades in only nine of 16 areas.

Since then, the Vatican says it has been making efforts to comply with Moneyval in order to join the 'white list' of states that respect international standards on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Last September, it hired a Swiss expert to help it fight money laundering more effectively.

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