The director of the embattled Vatican bank and his deputy resigned Monday, the latest heads to roll in a broadening finance scandal that has already landed one Vatican monsignor in prison and added urgency to Pope Francis' reform efforts.
The Vatican said in a statement that Paolo Cipriani and his deputy, Massimo Tulli, stepped down "in the best interest of the institute and the Holy See."
The speed with which they resigned, however, indicated that the decision was not entirely theirs.
Cipriani, along with the bank's then-president, was placed under investigation by Rome prosecutors in 2010 for alleged violations of Italy's anti-money-laundering norms after financial police seized 23 million euro ($30 million) from a Vatican account at a Rome bank.
Neither has been charged and the money was eventually ordered released.
But the bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR, has remained under the glare of prosecutors and now Francis amid fresh concerns it has been used as an offshore tax haven.