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It's 'cash only' now for tourists at the Vatican

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm •  Published: January 4, 2013
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The central bank said a routine inspection found that Deutsche Bank Italia hadn't sought authorization when it first started providing services at the Vatican. When it finally did, the Bank of Italy turned it down because the Vatican's banking norms, including measures to combat money laundering, didn't meet Italy's more stringent criteria of recent years, a central bank official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because there was no official statement on the case.

The Vatican has been striving to upgrade its measures to detect and discourage money laundering, hiring a Swiss expert just a few months ago. Last summer, the Holy See passed a key European financial transparency test but received failing grades for its financial watchdog agency and its bank, formally called the Institute for Religious Works.

The museums, with their entrance fees and popular souvenir shops, are a big money-maker for the Vatican. Other Vatican attractions, such as tours of the Vatican's ancient underground spaces, also charge admission.

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Giulia Saudelli from Rome contributed.