Vatican bank chief's priority: Clean up reputation

VATICAN CITY (AP) - The head of the Vatican bank says his main priority is to clean up the bank's reputation, saying the institution has not served the pope well enough but still provides valuable services to the Holy See and its clients.

Ernst von Freyberg was named president of the Institute for Religious Works in February, replacing Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, who was ousted by the bank's board last May.

His appointment was part of efforts to shed the bank's image as a secretive tax haven linked to scandals.

In an interview on Friday with Vatican Radio, Von Freyberg said he had hired a leading anti-money laundering consultancy and a New York law firm to ensure that the bank complied with anti-money laundering and anti-terror financing standards. He also hired some public relations experts.