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The Vatican announced a major overhaul of its troubled bank Wednesday, naming a new president and four non-executive members. It said French financier Jean-Baptiste de Franssu will take over the helm of the financial institution, replacing Ernst von Freyberg - who was named to the post shortly before Pope Benedict's unexpected 2013 retirement.

"I see this role as a mission," said de Franssu, who at one time headed Invesco's European division. "A mission to the church similar, in many ways, of Catholics around the world."

The cardinals gathered in Vatican City last spring to name a new pope were united in their calls for reform of the bank, which has been marred by mismanagement and corruption in what is seen as evidence of the wider dysfunction within the church hierarchy. Reforming the bank - which also saw profits tumble in 2013 - has been one of Francis’ priorities. "We are working so that international financial standards will be followed," Cardinal George Pell said Wednesday as he announced the changes for the bank. "We want to become a model for financial transparency."


- Claudio Lavanga