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An exterior view of the tower of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) in Vatican City in 2011. (Reuters)
An exterior view of the tower of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) in Vatican City in 2011. (Reuters)

French financier named to lead the Vatican’s troubled bank Add to ...

A French financier has been appointed as the new president of the Vatican’s long-troubled bank.

As widely expected, the Vatican announced Wednesday that Jean-Baptiste de Franssu has been tapped to head the Institute of Religious Works, as the bank is formally called. De Franssu has been serving on a new Vatican economic council.

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The outgoing president, a German industrialist named Ernst von Freyberg, worked to make the bank’s transactions more compliant with international banking standards after Italian money-laundering and cash-smuggling probes stung the institution.

In an interview published in German newspaper Bild, von Freyberg declared: “The bank is now clean.” Without elaborating, he said “dubious” investments resulted in costs of more than €45-million ($60-million).

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