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The Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), better known as the Vatican bank, has come under pressure in recent years after a number of scandals.
The Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), better known as the Vatican bank, has come under pressure in recent years after a number of scandals.
(REUTERS)

Huge, rich and secretive, Vatican Bank’s days may be numbered

This is banking, but not as we know it. Huge and secretive, with a balance sheet worth €5-billion ($7-billion) and enough equity to satisfy the most paranoid regulator, this bank is coining it, boosting its profits fourfold last year. Yet, strangely, it pays no taxes and does very little lending, earning its large surpluses by investing funds on behalf of a worldwide association of like-minded people.