This time last year the Hampton report on chopping back red tape - "reducing administrative burdens" - suggested that the Government might consider shifting the regulation of consumer credit to the Financial Services Authority from the Office of Fair Trading.
There was a logic to this. The OFT's main job is to see that supposed competitors really do compete with each other. The FSA regulates mortgages. Why on earth leave unsecured personal borrowing to another organisation?
Plenty of mortgages are sold, sometimes aggressively, to people who cannot cope with their unsecured consumer debts. They are persuaded to lower their monthly payments by "consolidating" their debt in a mortgage at a lower rate of interest and spread over a longer time.
The border line is clear enough in that these are distinct financial products. But to an individual seeking to borrow money or straighten out personal finances, they are elements in the same decision.
Northern Rock, indeed, markets a package which contains both a secured and, smaller, unsecured loan at the same rate of interest and part of the same deal.
So on Budget Day, when minds may be concentrated on weightier topics, there comes a joint statement from the OFT and FSA saying, among other things, that the Government has decided to leave things as they are.
After a year of consultations and what not, the Government decided that the consumer credit regime, established and run by the OFT, should stay that way.
If these consultations had been sweetness and light they would never have taken a year. By the look of it the OFT and FSA fought their respective corners doggedly - consumer credit is, after all, an important and high-profile activity affecting much of the population. There is plenty of kudos to be won for keeping it competitive, innovative, attractive to borrowers - and free of rogues.
The FSA could argue that most consumer credit is supplied by the banks, which it regulates. The OFT was in position already and had been doing the job for decades before the FSA was invented. It set up a system of credit licensing which has worked rather better than that the FSA and its predecessors applied to people selling pensions and mortgage endowments.
This intriguing tit-bit came at the end of a document with the anodyne heading "FSA and OFT to collaborate on improving regulation".
Evidently, that is new concept. Now they promise a joint "action plan" next month revealing, among other things, how they can collaborate on matters such as the sale of payment protection insurance.
This covers borrowers' repayments if they fall sick or are out of work. It is expensive because borrowers who aren't worried about their health or their jobs don't buy it. Arguably it benefits the lender more than the borrower.
The OFT is interested because it looks after cons umer credit, the FSA because its brief includes insurance. This needs intelligent, watchful regulating - but not twice over.