By Jim Fair
For the eighth consecutive year, the Istituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR) publishes the Financial Statements in its Annual Report.
The 2019 Financial Statements have been audited by the independent international auditing firm Mazars.
The Institute for Works of Religion — commonly known as the Vatican Bank — provides financial services to the Vatican City State and to the Catholic Church worldwide. In its operations, it works to ensure adherence to “the ethical and social principles of Catholic Teaching” in its management and in the “investment policies of its own account” and “those of its clients”.
On 28 April 2020, the Board of Superintendence of the Institute unanimously approved the 2019 Financial Statements. In accordance with the Statutes, they were submitted to the Commission of Cardinals highlighting the soundness and the strength of IOR financials (capital and liquidity level) and its compliance with international best practices. In line with the indications of His Holiness Pope Francis, the Commission of Cardinals decided again this year for a full distribution of profits.
Key financial data for the Institute in 2019 are the following:
- Euro 5.1 billion (Euro 5 billion in 2018) of client assets of which 3.4 billion are assets managed for third parties or under custody;
- Euro 38 million (Euro 17.5 million in 2018), as a net result illustrating the risk-based and faith consistent investment process applied to manage IOR balance sheet;
- Euro 630.3 million of net equity after distribution of profit as at 31 December 2019. In addition, IOR maintains a strong liquidity level with a Liquidity Coverage Ratio LCR of 443% and a Net Stable Funding Ratio NSFR of 1008%.
During the year, the IOR said it has continued to strengthen its senior management team and increased its investments in IT including those related to the membership of the European SEPA payment platforms.
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