Behind The Templar Agenda
The Vatican Bank
Another important theme of the novel is banking. When I began writing the novel I was fresh on the back of a degree in Business Economics & Finance, employment with the Ministry of Defence and the economic turmoil was starting to pick up pace. One of the best things about doing a degree in finance was studying banking systems and institutions, including its failings and frauds. Sadly, the Vatican Bank is not immune to criticism here. Though Leoni et Cie and Starvel are fictional institutions, Banco Ambrosiano and Clearstream were anything but. Throughout the 1970s the Vatican Bank invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Banco Ambrosiano, heightening their ‘moral’ responsibility in the bank’s failings.
In reality, the Banco Ambrosiano failings were the result of the people, their incompetence and an appalling lack of morals. In the case of The Templar Agenda, the plot is less critical of the Vatican Bank. Historically, the bank has proved both powerful and successful but its elements have remained hidden from the public eye. Everything included in the novel is as accurate as I could make it. Its headquarters are in the Vatican City, located near the Porta Sant’Anna. They have probably never used the Sistine Chapel for business purposes, but, for me, the temptation of including it was too great. The structure I believe to be fairly accurate: the bank is effectively structured into three layers, a council of cardinals, one of bankers, and finally the day to day aspects run by other Vatican bank employees and a directorate. For the purpose of this novel I have concentrated on the oversight commission of cardinals and the supervisory committee of bankers, though all of the people are fictional, their backgrounds concoctions of my imagination. All of the titles given to the cardinals, particularly del Rosi, Utaka and Tepilo are inspired by the real titles of members of the current and previous council.