The Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria (AIF – the Vatican City’s FIU) has today published its first annual report, covering 2012. You can see it here – and if you’re not feeling particularly Mediterranean, simply scroll down halfway and it turns into English. (And the chap presenting it is one of the most stylish FIU-men I have ever seen – ladies, take a look and then tell me that AML isn’t now looking a whole lot more interesting.)
So what does the report say? Well, in 2012 the AIF received six SARs, of which two were passed on to the “Promoter of Justice” (a fabulous name for the Vatican City’s prosecutor). And during 2012, the AIF took its first steps towards joining the Egmont Group. Apart from that, it’s a pretty unexciting read – although handy for explaining the structure of the Vatican City’s rather unusual financial sector.
At the press conference launching the report, Signor Brülhart declined to given specific details about the six SARs – which is not surprising. However, he did reveal that the AFI will soon have stronger supervisory powers over the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR – more commonly known as the Vatican Bank). Conceding that “not everything is great and perfect”, he said the Vatican was committed to meeting Moneyval’s requirements (the Vatican City is to report back to Moneyval in December 2013), notably closer supervision, or “prudential vigilance”, over the IOR: “Over the next weeks we will come up with a new law and that is going to be one of the key competences of the AFI.” He also said the AFI would put into place new procedures to screen account holders at the IOR. For that they will need the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon and the determination of Abigail.