The UK economy could contract by 35 per cent in this quarter according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.
A couple of points got drowned out in the coverage - that the fall would be 13% this year. More controversial was the suggestion of a brisk recovery to see overall GDP in 2021 bigger than 2019.
There has been some scepticism about this from economists.
Apologies for adding to the gloom, but the IMF says global growth will be -3% compared with -0.1% post financial crisis. For a little more context, the IMF generally regards growth that falls to low single digits as indicating a global recession. This is clearly much more serious.
On to adviser specific news, the Quilter Network has deferred fees charged to advisers during the lockdown.
In Money Marketing, Lee Robertson is very good on getting the tone of communications right in the crisis.
Professional Adviser reports that the FCA has offered more clarity around the use of capital buffers. It advises that if capital and liquidity buffers are used in times of stress and if a firm plans to draw down a buffer, it should contact the FCA, or its named supervisor.
The upshot is that firms are allowed to do this, but that they must let the regulator know which sounds fair enough.
Ninety-one’s (previously Investec) long-standing fund manager Alastair Mundy has taken a leave of absence though the firm stresses that it is not Covid-19 related.
Advisers probably do need to monitor what is happening in terms of business support.
Clearly some big support firms are making decisions to furlough staff – Succession attributes its decision to furlough new staff to a fall in new business of around 60 per cent.
Many advisers will be monitoring the situation probably more for clients than themselves. So the next three stories may be of interest.
The Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey made an intervention in the debate about the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme as the Guardian reports.
Andrew Bailey, the former FCA boss, has only been in the job a matter of weeks, but he has taken aim at both the Treasury and the banks.
"Notwithstanding the stress they are under, they [the banks] have got to put their backs into it and get on with this. They have to get on and process this stuff because livelihoods are at stake.”
He also suggests that the Chancellor needs to consider the government taking 100% of the risk not the current 80% framing that in terms of long term damage.
There was some movement from the Treasury in another area of business support with the furlough scheme extended until the least the end of June.
Meanwhile Paul Scully, the small business minister is reported to be working up a plan to get help to around two million director owners as the Financial Times reports.
The Association of British Insurers has urged people not to see their pension as a quick way of raising cash as Pensions Age reports.
N&SI says that the planned interest rate reductions on variable rate products will not go ahead with the old rates maintained. Some small degree of good news at least.
Sadly, we seem to be ending these round ups with news of someone passing each week.
One of the founders of group risk insurer Tim Creamer has died due to Covid 19. Former Ellipse chief executive John Ritchie pays tribute in Corporate Adviser.