The annual Report of the Financial Information Authority (FIA) was presented at the Holy See Press Office by the panel’s president, Rene Brulhart, and director, Tommaso Di Ruzza.
Brulhart explained that they work as an “intelligence” service to guarantee the transparency and legality of the Vatican accounts, and that they are aiming to work with great transparency.
Asked by ZENIT what point has been reached in the course of transparency initiated by Pope Benedict XVI, FIA’s president said that “in fact it is a process; therefore, we cannot how far we find ourselves. Certainly much progress has been made and will continue to be made.”
For his part, Director Di Ruzza said during the press conference that in the capacity of “financial intelligence,” control treaties have been signed with several countries that, added to the existing protocols, indicate a great quantity of countries.
He added that last year 113 cases were investigated, in other words, the number of investigations increased, thanks also to the confidence established with authorities of other countries. The increase in the indications of outgoing funds also reflects the tendency to consolidate transparency.
“In the last five years and in a relative short lapse of time, the Holy See and Vatican City State have put into practice a committed agenda on the international plane signing a financial treaty with the European Union, adhering to the Committee of Experts on the assessment of measures against money laundering and the financing of “Moneyval” terrorism in the Council of Europe. And also in the internal sector, be it in the institutional environment, creating organisms such as AUF, or the technical-juridical environment, with a strong normative body in the matter of transparency and financial intelligence,” said Director Di Ruzza.
Di Ruzza added: “The two pillars on which this process is supported are the adherence to the best international and European standards and coherence in the uniqueness of the Holy See, including in its sovereign prerogatives, also in the financial sector.”