The texts we are discussing relate to complex regulations developed in the past few years as a response to the demands and needs of financial markets in Europe and elsewhere. They provide us with an opportunity to reflect on the financial services sector to which they relate.In recent years, especially since Luxleaks and the Panama papers scandal, financial services have become associated in people’s minds with tax evasion, aggressive tax avoidance, money laundering and corruption. They have been seen as operated by unscrupulous bankers and accountants, whose only commitment is to greed and the promotion of tax havens. There is some truth in this impression. But it is very far from being the whole truth. The globalised economic system in which we live, and the Europe which is being built, need robust financial services to ensure that available resources are being effectively utilised. This truism needs to be repeated. Here, we are devising new methods that make financial services more adapted to today’s and tomorrow’s needs. Just as importantly however, we need new measures ensuring that the best practice in financial services is defined by professional behaviour which is committed to the highest ethical and social behaviour.

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