The Institute for the Works of Religion (Italian: Istituto per le Opere di Religione – IOR), commonly known as the Vatican Bank, is a privately held institute situated exclusively on the sovereign territory of the Vatican City and run by a Board of Superintendence which reports to a Supervisory Commission of Cardinals and the Pope. The Bank Identifier Code of the Institute for the Works of Religion is IOPRVAVX. Since 9 July 2014, its president is Jean-Baptiste de Franssu. The IOR is regulated by the Vatican's financial supervisory body AIF (Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria).
The institute was founded by papal decree of Pope Pius XII in June 1942. Its assets are not the property of the Holy See, and therefore it is outside the jurisdiction of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
In June 2012, the IOR gave a first presentation of its operations. In July 2013, the Institute launched its own website. On 1 October 2013 it also published its first-ever annual report which has been available for download since then.
On 24 June 2013, Pope Francis created a special investigative Pontifical Commission (CRIOR) to study IOR reform. On 7 April 2014, Pope Francis approved respective recommendations on the IOR's future which were jointly developed by the CRIOR and COSEA commissions and the IOR's management. "The IOR will continue to serve with prudence and provide specialized financial services to the Catholic Church worldwide", as the Vatican release stated.
On 7 April 2014, Pope Francis approved a proposal on the Institute's future, "reaffirming the importance of the IOR’s mission for the good of the Catholic Church, the Holy See and the Vatican City State". On 25 May 2015, the IOR published its Annual Report for 2014.