Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.

 

French financier to head scandal-plagued Vatican bank

Published time: July 09, 2014 14:52
Jean-Baptiste De Franssu (Reuters/Eric Vidal)

Jean-Baptiste De Franssu (Reuters/Eric Vidal)

French financier Jean-Baptiste de Franssu has been appointed the new President of the Vatican bank. It is part of the major overhaul of the bank to restore its reputation after a long list of money laundering scandals.

Jean-Baptiste de Franssu, 51, is the founder and Chairman of INCIPIT, and has been serving on the new Vatican economic council. An expert in investment banking, he was Chief Executive Officer of INVESCO Europe and member of the INVESCO Worldwide management committee.

Franssu will head a new board and management team at the Vatican bank.

The Frenchman said he was "honored" to oversee the bank's transformation.

“This is an important and challenging part-time assignment over the next year,” Franssu said. “I’m looking forward to beginning work in late September.”

Franssu’s predecessor Ernst von Freyberg, a German lawyer whose term in office lasted less than 17 months, was involved in a scandal with Italian money laundering and cash smuggling investigations.

In an interview with the German newspaper Bild, von Freyberg said that the bank is now fraud free.

“The bank is now clean," he said, adding that “dubious" investments resulted in losses of more than 45 million euro ($60 million).

Franssu in turn said he wants to "follow up on the good work" made by von Freyberg and praised the "extremely smooth and amicable handover that is currently taking place."

The Vatican also announced that Lord Patten, the former chairman of the BBC Trust, will head Pope Francis’ new media advisory board.

The bank's transformation will also include the creation of a separately managed Vatican pension fund, a Vatican asset manager, and the slimming down of the Vatican’s Treasury function Apse.

“Our ambition is to become a model for financial management rather than a cause for occasional scandal,” the Financial Times quotes Cardinal George Pell, the Australian Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.

On Tuesday, the Vatican bank, known officially as the Institute for Religious Works, said its profits nosedived to 2.9 million euro in 2013 from 86.6 million euro in 2012.

Since May 2013 the bank has been under investigation, with outside experts screening all existing customer records. As a result, about 2,600 dormant accounts were closed, with another 705 accounts either terminated for failing to meet the criteria for doing business with the bank.

Since the scandals, the bank has started rebuilding itself within Pope Francis's mission to refocus the Catholic Church to supporting the poor and needy.

In June 2013 the Bishop of Salerno in southern Italy, Monsignor Nuncio Scarano was arrested during an Italian investigation into the Vatican bank. Scarano was accused of taking $780,200 out of an account in the Vatican bank.

In October, the Pope replaced Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who had been brought down by allegations of ties to corrupt Italian politicians and the Vatican’s financial scandals.

Comments (7)

 

Freaky 14.07.2014 17:14

Sonbeams 10.07.2014 17:38

How can any bank focus on the poor and needy? Do they ensnare them in more debt? Do they give them payday loans at 36-60% interest?

To be involved in banking means fractional reserves, charging usury and printing counterfeit credit. The Pope should, if he is serious, close the bank down, transfer whatever funds remain into general revenues and distribute them to the poor and needy.

  



So true, thats why it is a criminal organisation.
No thing more then a senile old boys club.
Look at their past history cruelty against humanity.

 

Sonbeams 10.07.2014 17:38

How can any bank focus on the poor and needy? Do they ensnare them in more debt? Do they give them payday loans at 36-60% interest?

To be involved in banking means fractional reserves, charging usury and printing counterfeit credit. The Pope should, if he is serious, close the bank down, transfer whatever funds remain into general revenues and distribute them to the poor and needy.

The same is true of all the land owned by the Roman Church which is the world's largest landowner, most of it in city centres. Sell all of it, give it away to the poor and needy and begin following Jesus.

 

Peter Jennings 10.07.2014 13:10

Not forgetting the appointment of Patten after the mess he left behind at the bbc pandering to his cronies and carrying on the process of transforming it into propaganda central. He resigned due to ill health, or the saville scandal, after about a year. He is a fervent thatcherite, and we know who her friends were, and we in the UK can only hope he chooses to stay & live in Italy. He should fit right in there as he hasn't a clue.

Maybe they will both be given a couple of bricks to hold onto in the fullness of time?

View all comments (7)
Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or

Name

Password

Show password

Register

or Register

Request a new password

Send

or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:

OK

or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile

X

Name

New password

Retype new password

Current password

Save

Cancel

Follow us

Follow us