Some legal and accounting professional bodies issued a statement yesterday saying they were opposed to crime. It was the lowest common denominator statement they could have made. Today the Anti-Corruption Summit has praised that statement, saying;
In the non-financial professional services sector, we call on all countries to regulate and effectively supervise the legal, accounting, property, trust and company services sectors and support the promotion of global industry best practice in these sectors to underpin full and consistent implementation of FATF standards globally. We will also be alert to activities or sectors emerging as vulnerable to being used for facilitating or laundering proceeds of corruption. We welcome the statement of support and initiative by a group of leading firms in the international professional services sector to collaborate, share experience, and work with governments and other stakeholders to help prevent corrupt funds reaching legitimate investment and real estate markets. We will work with each other and the private sector to drive out those lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, trust and company service providers, and other professional service providers who facilitate or are complicit in corruption and to deprive them of the opportunity to carry out professional activities in future.
It shows juyst how limited our expectations of professionals are that politicians can celebrate their commitment to act legally.
Bankers, lawyers and accountants are the architects of corruption. This statement falls way short of any reasonably required action to tackle their abuse.