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November 28, 2013 AT 4:11 AM
Pope Francis named his personal secretary to supervise the activities of the Vatican bank on Thursday, in a sign the pontiff wants to keep a tight grip on the drive to clean up its operations and image. Alfred Xuereb, a 55-year-old Maltese prelate, will be responsible for overseeing two commissions created by the pope to supervise the bank itself and the economic structure and finances of the Holy See, the Vatican said in a statement. Since taking office in March, Francis has moved to tackle years of financial scandals involving the Vatican bank, formally known as the Institute for Works of Religion, which is under investigation on suspicion of money laundering.