Credit Suisse Dragged into Vatican Scandal

A fund manager on trial in the Vatican over murky London real estate transactions is, in turn, looking for culprits. He has filed a lawsuit against Credit Suisse in Luxembourg.

The Vatican has lost hundreds of millions of euros on luxury real estate deals in London. The fund manager, who is on trial for the deal in the Papal State, has filed a lawsuit against Credit Suisse in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the «Financial Times» reported (behind paywall).

WRM Group was founded by former banker Raffaele Mincione. The lawsuit accuses the Swiss bank along with fund manager Citco of not informing him the money used to buy a property at 60 Sloane Avenue in London's upscale Knightsbridge district came from the «Peter's Pence» charitable foundation intended to benefit the poor.

Unsubstantiated and Baseless

Credit Suisse told the newspaper it «will defend itself vigorously against this claim brought by WRM Group, which is unfounded and without merit,» and that it is not involved in the lawsuit.

Mincione is under criminal investigation at the Vatican for his role in the purchase of the Knightsbridge building. He stands accused of, among other things, fraud and embezzlement - which the ex-banker denies. Companies associated with WRM purchased the London property in 2012 for 129 million pounds. Two years later, the Vatican initially bought a stake, subsequently taking over the building completely in 2018 at a much higher price.

350 Million Euros From Donations

The Vatican prosecutor's office accuses the companies founded by Mincione of making a large profit on the transactions. The building in Knightsbridge, formerly a Harrods warehouse, was to be developed into luxury apartments. High-ranking officials of the Holy See poured a total of 350 million euros in donations into the London building, according to the Vatican.

Mincione denies any wrongdoing. He said the value increases were verified by independent auditors, and the Vatican was advised by its own investment banks, including Credit Suisse.

In September 2020, the London real estate scandal led to Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, who was responsible, being stripped of all privileges. In other words, he was fired.

Raffaele Mincione
Credit Suisse Dragged into Vatican Scandal