One of the things I like about the profession is that we are accountable. It’s not just an ethical issue – because business and ethics clash horribly sometimes, but because we are regulated into being ethical.
To go without regulation means that the ethics may slide if they conflict with good business sense. Whilst behaving ethically ought to be consistent with good business, it frequently is not. Hence why you can sometimes find people being described as “commercially minded” when what is meant is “more concerned with profit for the business than with individual client needs, but staying within the ethical rules by a whisker”.
Regulation is the stick, the wall against which we press our backs – not at all comfortable, but necessary, because being a good person is not enough when the chips are down and you have not reached target, and you could easily add a bit here and a bit there to save your own hide from a flaying by your supervising partner or manager.