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Scandal-dogged Vatican bank pays hefty price for clean-up

Published on Jul 8, 2014 7:16 PM
 

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - The Vatican bank, dogged by scandal and allegations of money laundering, has paid a colossal price for cleaning up its accounts, its 2013 financial statement showed Tuesday.

The bank said it had blocked the accounts of over 2,000 clients and shut down hundreds of others in a vast operation which saw its profits plummet to 2.9 million euros (S$4.9 million) from 86.6 million euros in 2012.

The ending of 396 "customer relationships" not eligible for accounts with the bank alone led to an outflow of funds of about 44 million euros, it said.

Bank president Ernst von Freyberg, who took over at the helm last year, said he had proceeded with "zero tolerance for any suspicious activity".

President of the Vatican bank Ernst von Freyberg poses in his office at the Vatican on June 10, 2013. The Vatican bank, dogged by scandal and allegations of money laundering, has paid a colossal price for cleaning up its accounts, its 2013 financial statement showed Tuesday, July 8, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
 
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