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Simoney Kyriakou

Simoney Kyriakou

Last year (2021) I pinned a tweet to my feed that said: "I have every confidence 2022 will be the equivalent of leaving an upturned spoon in the sink."

Like some others, I was not so jubilant in waving goodbye to 2021, as we anticipated yet another round of unpleasant surprises hitting us smack in the kisser.

Within a couple of months it was all too clear that 2022 was never going to be a good year for anyone, least of all the supremely brave people in war-torn Ukraine and those brave people in Russia who have tried to stand up against their own government's aggressive warmongering policies. 

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As the gas supplies cut off, once again Europe started talking about relying on coal - arguably the dirtiest of dirty energy - instead of that bright green hope of sustainable energy that Cop 26 in November 2021 had encouraged us to think about. 

China retained a hardline anti-Covid policy that not only stymied growth in the country but also in the world. Its threatening actions to Taiwan have not helped matters.

Now we have issues around Serbia and the Kosovo border which is more than the usual "argy bargy", according to colleagues on the Financial Times. 

It does not seem that we are ending 2022 on a positive note as we head into 2023. Indeed, the prognosis is not great for the UK financially, with questions over the effects of higher energy prices and high inflation on household finances. 

Even if the round of bank base rate hikes are expected to end, rather than continue, it still means misery for many households facing higher monthly mortgage repayments. 

Financial resilience, as the head of insurer Guardian has warned, has "been pushed to its limit". 

And just when advisers are hoping to pull together to help a rising cohort of concerned Britons make their money stretch further and protect their wealth, the very industry around seems to be on a collision course.

With the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Personal Finance Society arguing in public, it feels like the organisations are heading for a bitter divorce, just as advisers need their complete support. 

Meanwhile, the regulations that the FCA spent months and years implementing, such as the 10 per cent drop rule under Mifid II, and the key information documents under Priips, are going to be unravelled during 2023.

We will see new, British-made regulations having to be drafted by a government which has already committed to shedding European rules and bringing in their own.

Perhaps they'll have their own blue covers.

But whether this work will continue to be done by the FCA or a new-look regulator is still a question being asked in the halls of Whitehall. Maybe that's something we will get more clarity in 2023.