TIGFI is open to and encourages memberships and partnerships for all bodies within and outside the global financial sector. Members and partners sought include banks, other financial services and service providers to the financial sector as well as government and nongovernment organizations committed to improving the global financial sector’s corporate financial governance and market integrity.
TIGFI is driven by openness to constructive dialogue within and outside the global financial sector
TIGFI is also driven by a collaborative and a supportive spirit amongst its members and partners. As a Forum, TIGFI holds conferences, meetings, workshops and other events on matters pertaining to corporate financial governance and market integrity. As a Centre for Excellence, TIGFI engages with its members and partners in empirical research through its highly qualified and outstanding research professionals from industry and academe. The research shall provide publicly available reports and recommendations on corporate financial governance and market integrity issues. A primary mission of TIGFI shall be to develop an ethical code of conduct of the global financial sector that will serve as a standard and benchmark for all bodies engaged in financial and related activities.
TIGFI’s Center of Excellence and Forum shall focus on the Four Core Areas that fundamentally affect the global financial sector. The Four Core Areas are: (1) regulation, oversight and enforcement of such regulation, (2) compliance with law and regulation, governance and social responsibility, (3) money laundering, and (4)funding of bribes, organized crime and terrorism.
Core Areas 1 and 2 pertain to the environments in which the global financial sector, national financial centres and jurisdictions operate. Core Areas 3 and 4 pertain to financial market activities that are either criminal in nature or contrary to basic moral values. In this context, the critical challenges facing the global financial sector in its corporate financial governance and market integrity concern the combat against crime (organized and serious crimes, fraud and tax evasion), the combat against corruption (both sanctioned and non sanctioned by law or void of enforcement of existing law, including bribery), the combat against money laundering per se, and the combat against funding of bribes, organised crime and terrorism.
The principles of integrity governing the activities and behaviour of TIGFI are those of fairness, transparency, responsibility and accountability. The respect of these principles is fundamental to the global financial sector’s business behaviour and to the regulatory, oversight and enforcement actions and activities of national financial centres and jurisdictions.
TIGFI fully supports the paradigm of the competitive market economy. The paradigm is ground in fair, transparent, responsible and accountable competition. It requires active government policy geared to offset market abuses and systemic risk without imposing excessive burdens of rules, regulations and costs upon business.
Integrity can be defined in two ways: moral uprightness or honesty on the one hand and wholeness or soundness on the other. It is no accident that the integrity or soundness of the system as a whole is dependent on the integrity or honesty of the participants in the system. Participants in the financial system face continued moral and business choices in performing their activities. These are not always simple, black and white, choices. Complex choices have to be made often between short term profit and longer term sustainable returns; choices which impact the integrity of ourselves, our institutions, the financial markets and ultimately our societies. The near disintegration of the financial system and the deep shock to the economies of the western world which we have recently witnessed can be attributed to a series of choices made by individuals and institutions as well as by officials and politicians. Most of us want to do the right thing but competitive pressures will frequently mean that the actions of one will be followed by the many. Should one person or organisation take a path which offers short term profit at possible risk to the integrity of the system, then others will often be compelled to follow down the same path. For this reason, amongst others, society accepts the need for laws and regulations. But laws and regulations can never be completely adequate for the purpose. Public officials and politicians drafting and debating legislation can never be fully aware of the issues, nor can legislation cover all eventualities.
The Institute for Global Financial Integrity exists as a forum to discuss issues of financial integrity, bringing together practitioners and other stakeholders from within and outside Luxembourg whether they are from financial institutions, regulators, charitable, academic or political institutions. It believes that the long term profitability, sustainability and social utility of the financial market place in Luxembourg, Europe and the world can best be served by open and active debate of the issues of financial integrity and by the exercise of peer pressure. For better or for worse, peer pressure is frequently the lever to effect cultural change.
No man is an island entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less,
as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends
or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
John Donne 17c.