Vatican bank profit plunges; scrutiny of clients stressed amid pope's reform orders

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The Vatican Bank has reported a big dip in profits as Pope Francis presses reforms to make the scandal-tainted institution more transparent.

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The Institute for Religious Works released its 2013 balance sheets on Tuesday. The figures show a plunge in net profit last year to 2.9 million euros ($4 million) from 86.6 million euros ($118 million) in 2012.

The bank listed a loss of 14.4 million euros ($19.5 million) attributed to a "donation" of securities to a Holy See foundation. It didn't elaborate, but this year news reports said a top Vatican cardinal had transferred some 15 million euros to an Italian film company considered close to the Vatican and that the transaction was under investigation.

The bank continues to close accounts that don't meet tighter standards.