On behalf of its clients, the Institute carries out financial activities authorised by the ASIF, and offers the following services: acceptance of deposits, asset management, certain custodial functions, international payment transfers through correspondent banks, and holding salary and pension accounts of employees of the Holy See and Vatican City State.
Credit activity is residual and strictly subject to the limits of the ASIF authorization and constraints established by the Board of Superintendence.
No funding activities are carried out on the interbank market and IOR does not issue, underwrite or place debt securities.
Accounts opened at the IOR by authorised customers meet the requirements of the legislation in force in Vatican City State on preventing and combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
Customers are provided with services in IOR offices located in Vatican City State. The Institute has no branches.
Customers served by the Institute include:
a) Institutional counterparties (Sovereign Institutions of the Holy See and Vatican City State and related entities, nunciatures and apostolic delegations, embassies and diplomats accredited to the Holy See);
b) Non-institutional counterparties (Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Dioceses and other Vatican canonical or civil entities as legal persons; clerics and members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, employees and retirees of the Vatican as natural persons).
The IOR’s customers have a common characteristic, which is that they are part of and serve the Catholic Church.
The IOR does not accept as customers, individuals or institutions, without a close relationship to the Holy See and Catholic Church.
Strict control processes are in place to ensure that this rule is adhered to at all times.
Most of the IOR’s clients are active in missions or perform charitable works at institutions such as schools, hospitals or refugee camps.
The Catholic Church, through its institutions involved in missionary activities and charitable works, is present throughout the world, even in countries with very basic infrastructure and underdeveloped banking and payment systems.
In such cases, the IOR’s services are particularly valuable. For customers located in these areas, the IOR is a bedrock, affirming itself as a trusted institution able to provide on-site services otherwise lacking or absent. This is even more evident in those geographic areas with high levels of political and/or financial instability.
As of 31 December 2021, the IOR’s clients totalled 14,519 (2020: 14,991). The reduction (about 3%) includes both closure by seminarians or clerics who returned to their country and accounts closed by the Institute, as a result of more and more frequent and granular periodic checks, for different reasons such as:
(a) loss of requirements;
(b) non-compliance with contractual rules applicable to the accounts;
(c) non-use for extended periods of time.
The opening and/or maintenance of accounts at the IOR is destined to become more and more selective in the following years in order to protect the Institute's service mission.
Measured by assets entrusted, IOR clients comprised religious orders (50%), departments of the Roman Curia, Holy See and Vatican City State Offices and nunciatures (23%), episcopal conferences, dioceses and parishes (9%), cardinals, bishops and clergy (8%), Vatican employees and pensioners (7%) and foundations and other Canon Law entities (3%).
The value of customer deposits was EUR 1.8bn (2020: EUR 1.7bn), the net value of assets held in managed portfolios was EUR 3bn (2020: EUR 2.8bn) and the net value of assets held in non-managed portfolios was EUR 408.8m (2020: EUR 464.3m), resulting in EUR 5.2bn in total client assets (2020: EUR 5bn).