VATICAN CITY – The Vatican took another step Wednesday to show greater financial transparency by publishing the first annual report from its financial watchdog agency and announcing new regulations to fight money laundering and terror financing.

The report from the Financial Intelligence Authority showed the agency received six internal reports on suspicious transactions in 2012, up from one a year earlier, and that two were sent onto Vatican prosecutors for investigation.

But the 10-page report made scant mention of any supervisory operations carried out in 2012. International financial authorities have recommended the agency conduct inspections and issue internal regulations to fight money laundering and terror financing.

The report also made no mention of the troubles that led to the suspension of credit card services inside the Vatican for several months, an embarrassment that inconvenienced the thousands of people who visit the Vatican and its museums each day. The Vatican created the oversight agency in 2010 in a bid to shed its image as a secretive tax haven and improve its reputation in global financial circles. As part of that effort, the Holy See submitted itself to the Council of Europe’s Moneyval evaluation process, which assesses countries’ compliance with international anti-money laundering and anti-terror financing norms.


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