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Pope Francis speeds ahead with Vatican clean up

Pope Francis named four experts from Switzerland, Singapore, the United States and Italy to replace five Italians on the board of the Financial Information Authority, the Vatican internal regulatory office said.

The new FIA board includes a woman for the first time, the Independent reported Thursday.

The five outgoing members had been expected to serve five-year terms ending in 2016.

The Pope's advisers have been pushing for him to appoint professionals in the mold of Rene Bruelhart, a Swiss lawyer who has been leading the FIA since 2012 and pressing for reforms.

Bruelhart was Liechtenstein's former top anti-money laundering expert.

The new FIA board includes Marc Odendall, who administers and advises philanthropic organizations in Switzerland, and Juan C. Zarate, a Harvard law professor and senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C.

The other board members are Joseph Yuvaraj Pillay, former managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and senior advisor to Singapore's president, and Maria Bianca Farina, the head of two Italian insurance companies.

Since Bruelhart arrival and Pope Francis's election, the Vatican has been instituting reforms to align itself with international standards on financial transparency and money laundering.

In February, Pope Francis replaced four of the five cardinals on the commission that supervises the Vatican's bank, known as the Institute for Works of Religion. 


Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of the FCPA Blog and can be reached here.