COMMUNIQUE FROM VATICAN’S FINANCIAL INFORMATION AUTHORITY

COMMUNIQUE FROM VATICAN’S FINANCIAL INFORMATION AUTHORITY

On 1 October 2019, the Director of the Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria (AIF), Tommaso Di Ruzza, and his offices were searched by the Corps of the Gendarmerie of the Vatican City State in relation to an investigation initiated by the Promotor of Justice following two complaints lodged in July and August this year by the I.O.R. and the Office of the Auditor General within their respective institutional competences.

The search, which resulted in the seizure certain files and records, is in connection with an ongoing institutional activity carried out by AIF based on a Suspicious Activity Report involving several foreign jurisdictions.

Immediately following these events, the President of AIF, René Brülhart, having consulted with the members of the Board of Directors, opened an internal investigation to gain a thorough understanding of the relevant operational activity of AIF.

Based upon that internal investigation, the Board of Directors has determined:
– First, that the activity carried out by AIF and its Director was properly institutional in nature and conducted in conformity with the AIF’s governing Statute.
– Second, that in the exercise of its institutional authority, neither the Director nor any other employee of AIF improperly exercised his authority or engaged in any other wrongdoing.
– Accordingly, the Board of Directors reaffirms its full faith and trust in the professional competence and honorability of its Director and, moreover, commends him for the institutional work carried out in the handling of this particular case. As AIF continues to conduct its operational activities at the domestic and international levels, it remains fully cooperative with competent authorities. The Board of AIF is confident that potential misapprehensions will be clarified soon.

VATICAN’S FINANCIAL AUTHORITY ISSUES 2018 ANNUAL REPORT

VATICAN’S FINANCIAL AUTHORITY ISSUES 2018 ANNUAL REPORT

AIF Press Release – Annual Report 2018
Adhesion to SEPA and increased effectiveness of the reporting system

The Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria (AIF) of the Holy See and the Vatican City State has presented its Annual Report for 2018. The report reviews the activities and statistics of AIF for the year 2018.

Significant achievements were made in 2018, both within the regulatory framework as well as regarding the reporting system. Focusing on the regulatory framework, the conclusion of the adhesion process of the Holy See/Vatican City State to the geographical area of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) represents a relevant step forward towards the harmonization and the efficiency of transfers of funds within the European area. Regarding the reporting system, a first conviction for self-laundering by the Tribunal of the Vatican City State, triggered by a suspicious activity report, as well as the enhanced quality of the suspicious activity reports indicate an increased effectiveness of the reporting system.

“The successful application to SEPA is a very positive sign” said René Brülhart, President of AIF. “It helps to facilitate payments and harmonizes such services. Furthermore, it demonstrates the Holy See’s efforts to enhance financial transparency.”

The reporting system has seen a continued decline in the number of Suspicious Activity Reports as in the previous years. In 2018, 56 Suspicious Activity Reports were filed with AIF in comparison to the previous year with 150 SARs. “Such a decline and tendency in the last years was expected. Very positive is the enhanced quality of the suspicious activity reports filed with our authority and the increase of disseminations to the Vatican Office of the Promotor of Justice,” said Tommaso Di Ruzza, Director of AIF. In 2018, 11 reports were submitted to the Vatican Office of the Promoter of Justice for further investigation by the competent law enforcement authorities. “International cooperation remains of key importance to AIF”, says Di Ruzza, indicating that “In 2018, AIF signed 8 Memoranda of Understanding with its counterparts in foreign jurisdictions and exchanged information in 488 cases”.

Moreover, the regulatory framework has been further strengthened, in particular with the introduction of Regulation no. 3 on payment services, Regulation no. 4 on due

About AIF The Financial Information Authority is the competent authority of the Holy See and Vatican City State for supervision and financial intelligence for the prevention and countering of money laundering and financing of terrorism as well as prudential supervision.

Established by Pope Benedict XVI with the Apostolic Letter in form of Motu Proprio of 30 December 2010, AIF carries out its institutional activities in accordance with its new Statute introduced by Pope Francis with a Motu Proprio of 15 November 2013 and Law No. XVIII of 8 October 2013.

AIF has signed MOUs with Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Cyprus, Ecuador, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Honduras, Hungary, India, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan (Republic of China), United Kingdom and the United States of America, Uruguay. AIF has been a member of the Egmont Group since 2013.

VATICAN’S FINANCIAL INFORMATION AUTHORITY PUBLISHES ANNUAL REPORT

VATICAN’S FINANCIAL INFORMATION AUTHORITY PUBLISHES ANNUAL REPORT

At 11.00 this morning in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held for the presentation of the Annual Report of the Financial Information Authority (Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria – AIF) of the Holy See and Vatican City State on the activity of supervision and financial intelligence for the prevention and countering of money laundering and financing of terrorism as well as prudential supervision.

Presenters included René Brülhart and Tommaso Di Ruzza, respectively president and director of the AIF.

Here is the press release/annual Report furnished by AIF for the year 2017:

AIF press release | Annual Report 2017
Robust reporting system and effective regulatory framework

The Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria (AIF) of the Holy See and the Vatican City State has presented its Annual Report for 2017. The report reviews the activities and statistics of AIF for the year 2017.

2017 confirmed robust reporting system and an effective application of the regulatory framework of the Holy See and the Vatican City State. Furthermore, AIF continued its pro-active approach to cooperate and exchange of information with its foreign counterparts to fight illicit financial activities.

“2017 has been a year of consolidation and normalization of our institutional activities”, said René Brülhart, President of AIF. “Consolidation of the measures taken to establish an effective regulatory framework and its full and sustainable implementation. Normalization of the reporting system, which is considered to be robust.”

The system has seen a progressive decline in the number of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs). In 2017, 150 Suspicious Activity Reports were filed with AIF in comparison to the previous year with 207 SARs. “Such tendency is positive because in parallel the quality of the reports increased, showing a growing awareness and strengthening of the control functions of the reporting subjects”, said Tommaso Di Ruzza, Director of AIF.

In 2017, 8 reports were submitted to the Vatican Office of the Promoter of Justice for further investigation by the competent law enforcement authorities. “Considering the uniqueness of the jurisdiction, international cooperation is a key element of the activity of AIF”, reported Di Ruzza, indicating that “In 2017, AIF signed 19 Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with its counterparts in foreign jurisdictions and exchanged information in 268 cases”.

Furthermore, the regulatory framework has been further strengthened, in particular with the introduction of Regulation no. 2, which sets the rules in regard of the data and information accompanying transfers of funds and the technical requirement for credit transfers and direct debits in Euro.

About AIF

The Financial Information Authority is the competent authority of the Holy See and Vatican City State for supervision and financial intelligence for the prevention and countering of money laundering and financing of terrorism as well as prudential supervision.

Established by Pope Benedict XVI with the Apostolic Letter in form of Motu Proprio of 30 December 2010, AIF carries out its institutional activities in accordance with its new Statute introduced by Pope Francis with a Motu Proprio of 15 November 2013 and Law No. XVIII of 8 October 2013.

AIF has signed MOUs with supervisory Authorities and Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Cyprus, Ecuador, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Hungary, India, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan (Republic of China), United Kingdom and the United States of America.

AIF has been a member of the Egmont Group since 2013.