A body called the Consumer Duty Alliance has been launched by Keith Richards and other industry notables seeking to build a ‘cross-sector alliance’ of good practice before the consumer duty comes into force.
The big question is, of course, whether it wil rival the PFS.
The CDA is a not-for-profit community interest company and was launched in London last week with the lead role taken by Richards.
Membership is free and is open to individuals and firms who adopt its code of professional standards, and the consumer-facing ‘financial vulnerability charter'.
It is reported that the CDA has excluded commercial activities from its remit with initial funding support provided by Legal & General and Howdens Brokers as foundation affiliates.
Richards added: "With no competition or commercial conflicts of interest to cause a potential barrier, the CDA is encouraging all financial services organisations, advice firms and individuals to join the Alliance."
This is very good from Financial Adviser in terms of supplying details.
The CDA will start life with 4,000 members - the same membership as the existing Financial Vulnerability Taskforce. Any individual working in financial services can become a member for free.
Companies can become affiliates, such as Money Alive, which is one of the founding affiliate members.
They can sign up to a new code of professional standards charter, receiving badges to use on client communications, and download a copy of a new consumer guide to pass onto clients.
The board and the chairs of the forums are all working pro-bono. Keith Richards will remain at the helm of the FVT, and the existing FVT board will continue under the board of the CDA.
The big question for me is whether it represents a credible alternative to the PFS for the mass of IFAs. Or perhaps more pertinently whether it will become so in future as it progresses and develops.
There are a host of questions regarding, for example, it's long-term funding and long term plans.
It will also be interesting to see if the CII/PFS get involved or indeed attempt to rise above such matters.
This is very interesting for a host of reasons. New Model Adviser reports in an exclusive report that ministers are uneasy about the Consumer Duty.
It feels almost unthinkable the Duty could be rerailed or delayed at such a late stage but we live in interesting times.
There's a potentially blockbuster story for pension planning. In a bid to resolve issues variously affecting the NHS in terms of recruitment and retention of senior staff and the fact that significant numbers of people have left the workforce, the Treasury may very well push up the limits to the annual allowance and lifetime allowance.
The reports in the Daily Mail do read as if this comes from a government briefing so it is worth monitoring in the run up to the Budget. Some chancellors have been notorious in the past for flagging policies to test reaction only for nothing to be mentioned in the Budget. This feels different I tone.
Advice network Pi Financial has been told to stop taking on any new appointed representative firms and has been hit with the pension transfer ban. The network has around 120 ARs.
In banking news, Silicon Valley Bank failed on Friday causing a great deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth. It appears from various coverage that the bank had a serious mismatch between liabilities and its US government bond book tilting significantly to long term Treasuries and eschewing hedges.
Over the weekend there has been a lot of noise from VCs, tech and crypto commentators calling for a full bailout (often not in keeping with their stated small government ideology) to stem a supposed US bank run. Other voices who analyse banks in detail are pouring cold water on this though it must be said confidence is a fickle thing.
It is an interesting challenge for the US because no-one wants a Lehman’s moment but no-one wants to bail out a reckless bank.
NPR reported that the Treasury secretary Janet Yellen has ruled out such an intervention. But late on Sunday it was then reported that all deposits had been guaranteed and generous lending offered to other banks.
This twitter thread from a bank analyst seems to be an example of a cool-headed analysis.
JohannesBorgen on Twitter: "Probably foolish of me to make forecasts about the future, but what do I think will happen with SVB next week? $SVIB #SVB (I know this will horribly backfire but never mind)" / Twitter.
There is a question for the UK in that it could be damaging to the tech sector as SVB has had a full UK subsidiary since August last year. Again it is worth keeping an eye on events.
This will be the last thing Hunt needed in the approach to the Budget, but I wonder if we are about to see moral hazard go out the window, if the UK tech sector or much of it is imperilled.
One has to ask, who on earth have these British tech firms been getting their business and financial advice from?