Vatican bank reports $19 million profit in 2021

The Institute for the Works of Religion, commonly known as the Vatican bank. | Andrea Gagliarducci/CNA.

The Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), commonly known as the Vatican bank, announced on Tuesday that it had recorded a profit of around $19 million in 2021.

The $19 million net profit is down from $44 million in 2020 and $46 million in 2019.

In its annual report, published on June 7, the IOR emphasized its dedication to managing clients’ financial assets according to Catholic values and principles.

Cardinal Santos Abril y Castelló, president of the Supervisory Commission of Cardinals, wrote in the report that the profit of 18.1 million euros ($19.3 million) was “an important result considering the low yields on financial markets.”

“The wise and prudent choices made by management continue to pay off,” he commented.

The IOR, based in Vatican City State, has 110 employees and 14,519 clients. It looks after 5.2 billion euros ($5.6 billion) of client assets.

According to the report, “the IOR strives to serve the global mission of the Catholic Church through the administration of the entrusted assets and by providing payment services to the Holy See and to Vatican City State, related entities, religious orders, other Catholic institutions, clergy, employees of the Holy See and the accredited diplomatic bodies.”

The report also noted that the IOR is a civil party in a historic Vatican trial to prosecute 10 people for financial crimes, some of which are related to the Secretariat of State’s purchase of a 350 million euro (about $375 million) London investment property.

The IOR is seeking damages together with the Secretariat of State, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), the Financial Information and Supervision Authority (ASIF), and former Secretariat of State official Monsignor Alberto Perlasca.

In January 2021, the Vatican court ruled in a separate trial against the IOR’s former president and other executives who had used their positions to embezzle from the Vatican.

The court found Angelo Caloia, his lawyer Gabriele Liuzzo, and Liuzzo’s son Lamberto Liuzzo guilty of financial crimes, for which they were given a prison sentence and fined 24.5 million euros (around $26 million) plus interest and costs. An appeal is pending.

The conclusion of the trial, which began in 2018, marked the first time that the Vatican had issued a prison sentence for financial crimes.

Monsignor Battista Mario Salvatore Ricca, the IOR’s prelate, wrote that the Vatican bank “was one of the first institutions to accept faithfully the wishes of the Pope in order to guarantee clarity, honesty, and order in the economic affairs of the Holy See.”

Ricca, who is second in the institute’s organizational hierarchy, said that new staff had “provided a great professional growth” and noted that the institute had “moved from the extensive activity that, for better or for worse, it carried out at the beginning of the changes to a smaller operational size that brings it exclusively into the service of the Holy See.”

“It basically does what it is supposed to do and nothing else,” he said.

Source: CNA