Pope expected to strip Vatican bank of asset management powers

Lynsey Barber
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Pope Francis is expected to shake up the Vatican bank this week (Source: Getty)

The Pope is expected to strip the 127-year-old Vatican bank of most of its asset management powers in an overhaul of the scandal hit institution.

The Financial Times Reports that the Vatican bank will be severely cut back as it returns to its original purpose of helping fund missionaries and church groups around the world.

Pope Francis is expected to take action this week in response to widespread corruption and mismanagement of the institution which holds nearly €5bn of assets.

The bank is said to be unveiling the shake up along with the publication of its annual report, due out this week and only its second in more than a century.

The banks chairman Ernst Von Freyberg is also expected to step down, with former Investco Europe chief Jean-Baptiste de Franssu named on the shortlist to replace him.

In April the Pontiff said the bank would remain in business, saying: “The IOR will continue to serve with prudence and provide specialised financial services to the Catholic Church worldwide.”

The entire board of the Vatican’s financial watchdog were sacked however, and replaced with new members last month as Pope Francis seeks to overhaul the bank.

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