The Vatican bank’s stepped-up internal monitoring has led to a sharp rise in suspicious transaction reports — from just six in 2012 to 202 in 2013 and collaboration with foreign financial authorities has increased sharply.

“It means that the reporting system starts working, is working,” Rene Bruelhart, director of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority, a supervisory body, said as he presented its 2013 report on Monday.

The agency said that there had been a “notable” rise in reported shady deals at the bank, the Institute for Religious Works or IOR, and that it had so far passed on five requests for further investigation by Vatican justice.

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