Pope signs financial transparency laws for Vatican

| 30/12/2010

(Reuters): The Vatican, whose bank is the focus of a money laundering investigation has enacted laws that it says will bring it in line with international standards on financial transparency and the fight against funding terrorism. It was the biggest action ever taken by the Vatican to meet demands for more financial openness. It establishes an internal watchdog, known as a Financial Information Authority (FIA), to check compliance with international financial law. Pope Benedict signed a "Motu Proprio," a form of executive order, in which the Vatican establishes a set of internal laws promising its bank and all other departments will adhere to regulations and cooperate with foreign authorities.

"The Vatican now is totally inserted into this system in solidarity with the international community and with international authorities," spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said.

The new laws aim to make the Vatican City, a 108-acre sovereign state surrounded by Rome, comply with the rules of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a Paris-based body that lists states failing to comply with standards on money laundering and terrorism financing.

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