Vatican sees 147 reports of suspicious transactions as anti-money-laundering norms take hold

The Vatican's financial watchdog agency says it received 147 reports of suspicious financial transactions last year, a sign that tough new anti-money laundering norms are taking hold at its scandal-marred bank.

The Financial Information Authority released its annual report Friday. It showed a slight decline in the number of suspicious reports received in 2014 compared to the 202 received in 2013. In 2012, when the Vatican's efforts at greater financial controls were in their infancy, only six suspicious transactions were reported.

Of the 147 transactions that were flagged as potentially problematic in 2014, the agency forwarded seven to Vatican prosecutors for investigation. The report said most concerned suspected fraud or tax fraud.

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI created the agency in 2010 to comply with international anti-money-laundering norms.