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The IOR releases a “dividend” of 3 million to Pope Francis, the Vatican bank closes nearly 2,000 current accounts

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The IOR releases a “dividend” of 3 million to Pope Francis. The Istituto per le Opere di Religione has decided to allocate about one-tenth of last year’s profits to the pope’s charitable actions. In addition, 2022 was profitable for the Vatican bank, which increased its profit by 64% compared to 2021, almost 30 million net profit. Mainly thanks to the asset management business which generated commissions of 18.1 million on assets of more than 2.8 billion. Over the years, the IOR has launched 16 funds that invest in stocks, currencies and bonds of states and companies that respect the principles of the Church’s social teaching.

IOR funds

The asset management department is undoubtedly the most profitable for the IOR, which does not instead carry out the most typical banking activity: credit. The granting of loans is limited to advances on salaries and pensions to its customers, ie almost risk-free loans, provided at low rates and in limited numbers. Instead, the majority of the institution’s use consists of depositing funds with other banks and purchasing government and corporate bonds. These investments gave the IOR a return of 0.91%, while the remuneration allocated to the EUR 1.8 billion deposited by customers stopped at 0.10%. On this difference, the bank built up an interest margin of 22.6 million, a 3.7% increase from 2021, but light years off that of traditional commercial banks after the ECB’s abrupt rate hike.

Decreasing customers

“The IOR cannot have as its first operating principle the maximum possible profit, but which are compatible with the standards of morality, coherent efficiency and practices that respect the specificity of its nature and the exemplarity due in its operations,” he said. underlines in 2015 Pope Francis initiates a reform of the bank after years of scandals. An extension, which is still ongoing, led the institute headed by Gian Franco Mammì to close several accounts in 2022 “after increasingly frequent and detailed periodic checks”. As a result, the number of customers fell from 14,519 to 12,759 in one year. The selection will continue in the future with the aim of retaining only the deposits of people and institutions that have “a close relationship with the Holy See and the Catholic Church”.

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Source: Corriere

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