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Pope Francis' Vatican Bank Clean-up Sweeps Away Profits, Too!

Pope Francis may be cleaning up the scandal-tainted Vatican bank, but it's not good for the bottom line, The bank, formally called the Institute for Religious Works, said its net profit in 2013 fell to $4 million from $118 million the previous year. The income statement lists a loss of $19.5 million attributed to a "donation" of securities to a Holy See foundation. It didn't elaborate, but news reports have said a top Vatican cardinal had transferred some 15 million euros to an Italian film company considered close to the Vatican and that the transaction was under investigation. The bank continues to close accounts that don't meet tighter regulatory standards, reflecting its aim to improve compliance with international banking standards, including those to discourage money laundering. So far it has blocked 1,239 individual client and 762 institutional client accounts.

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- The Associated Press