VATICAN CITY — The Vatican got a report card Wednesday on its efforts to be more financially transparent — but it’s a secret for now.
A Council of Europe committee in Strasbourg, France, adopted a report by independent inspectors examining the Holy See’s efforts to comply with international standards to fight money laundering and terror financing.
The evaluators’ preliminary report found areas where the Vatican was compliant and where it needed work. During Wednesday’s meeting of the panel, known as the Moneyval committee, that report was amended by governments who are committee members, as often occurs.
But neither the Vatican nor the Council of Europe would disclose the outcome, saying Moneyval’s procedures forbid it. The full report will be released in about a month, after the Vatican makes its own observations about the findings.
The Vatican submitted itself to the Moneyval evaluation process more than two years ago after it signed on to the 2009 EU Monetary Convention and in a bid to shed its image as a financially shady tax haven whose bank has long been embroiled in scandal. Since then, it has written and rewritten a law criminalizing money laundering, created a financial watchdog agency, and ratified three anticrime UN treaties.
The moves have all been designed to comply with the 49 recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, the Paris policy-making body that helps countries develop antimoney laundering and antiterror financing legislation. The Moneyval report card delivered Wednesday checked off whether the Vatican was compliant or not with the recommendations.
Italian news reports have suggested the Vatican would break even on the 16 critical core and key recommendations from the broader 49, getting a passing grade on eight and a noncompliant or partially compliant grade on the other eight. If a country gets 10 or more bad marks, it has to submit itself to a more rigorous verification during the next two years.