JPMorgan Closes Vatican Account

The Catholic Church isn't known for its transparency, and that lack of openness is now hitting it in the pocketbook, as well. JPMorgan Chase is closing the Vatican's account, which is held by an Italian branch of the bank. The Vatican had been trying to have its account included among a "white list" of European countries that are known for adhering to international standards against fraud and money laundering. Formerly known as the Institute for Works of Religion, the bank tried to reform itself last year but fell short in its efforts to rehabilitate its image after a string of scandals. In 2010, its assets were frozen during an investigation into money-laundering.