Other groups applauded the effort as a step towards greater openness and fighting corruption. Von Freyberg stated that "with the publication of our Annual Report, we are meeting our commitment to provide the transparency about our activities which the Catholic Church, our customers, the Vatican authorities, our correspondent banks and the public rightfully expect."
And in July 2012, Europe's anti-money-laundering agency Moneyval found the Vatican "compliant" or "largely compliant" on nine of the 16 "key and core" areas for combating terrorist financing and money-laundering.
The Moneyval report indicated that the Vatican Bank's security standards surpass those required by Vatican law and that Vatican legislation on secrecy is compliant with international standards. The report also praised the high level of Vatican engagement in international cooperation.
"The Holy See has come a long way in a very short period of time and many of the building blocks of anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism regimes are now formally in place," the Moneyval report said.
At the moment, the Vatican Bank is engaged in a screening of its accounts undertaken by the American firm Promontory Financial Group.
The prominent Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported Oct. 1 that the Vatican Bank decided to close 900 accounts the previous day. Among these were the accounts held by the embassies of Iran, Indonesia and Iraq, because they did not fulfill the requirements for transparency requested by Promontory.
Corriere della Sera also reported that the bank may close the accounts of all foreign embassies accredited to the Holy See, but the Vatican Bank neither confirmed nor denied this move.
A Vatican Bank spokesperson told CNA Oct. 1 that "in principle, the Vatican Bank does not comment on customer relationships. On a more general note we can confirm that the remediation effort with regard to the accounts held at the Vatican Bank is proceeding according to plan."