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Vatican adopts new financial-disclosures law

Catholic World News - October 09, 2013

The Vatican city-state has adopted a new law that establishes “norms regarding transparency, supervision, and information in financial matters.”

The new regulations, incorporated in legislation known as Law XVIII, codify the norms set forth by Pope Francis in a motu proprio issued in August. The Vatican said that Law XVIII is “a further important step in the direction of transparency and supervision of activities of a financial nature and a contribution to the stability and integrity of the sector at a global level.”

Explaining the impact of the norms, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, said that the regulations are designed to guard against money-laundering and the financing of terrorism by imposing “discipline of the international transfer of funds.”

Law XVIII gives the Financial Information Authority (FIA) the power to intervene when there is cause for concern about possible criminal activity. The FIA can request a detailed report on financial transfer, and suspend suspicious transactions for up to 5 working days while an investigation is carried out.

The new norms allow the FIA to deny all financial services to “individuals who threaten peace and international security,” and to freeze the assets of those who are listed as suspects in the financing of terrorism.

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