The financial sector in Luxembourg, as indeed elsewhere in the world, curiously suffers from two contradictory reputations. For some, finance is an unbridled, unregulated realm governed by the free market law of the jungle. For others, it is the regulated sector par excellence. It is indeed subject to dozens of legal texts and to thousands of pages worth of instructions issued by supervisory authorities and central banks that monitor the slightest movement made by the sector’s actors.
If the first sentiment is often that of the general public, the second is that of the financial actors themselves, who experience first hand all the legal, regulatory, but also commercial constraints that are an integral part of their professions.
Beyond the public’s own expectations as to a tightening of the regulatory framework governing the financial sector, the sector’s professionals are also subject to an ethical obligation, or self-regulation. In practice, this obligation means adopting ethical codes or codes of conduct in which professionals themselves define their understanding of their profession and how it is to be conducted, and willingly submit to principles constituting a number of commitments towards the outside world.