You know it's bad when a major bank tells you it does not want your business and closes your account. So it happened to the Vatican bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR). JP Morgan Chase's Milan branch communicated the move in a recent letter, according to Italy's leading financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore.
The move is a blow to the Vatican's drive to have its bank included in Europe's "white list" of states that comply with international standards against tax fraud and money-laundering.
The bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), enacted major reforms last year in an attempt to get Europe's seal of approval and put behind it scandals that have included accusations of money laundering and fraud.
Italy's leading financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported at the weekend that JP Morgan Chase in Milan had told the IOR of the closing of its account in a letter on Feb. 15.
The letter said the IOR's account in Italy's business capital would gradually be phased out starting on March 16 and closed on March 30.