UK lost 15% millionaires due to Brexit

22 November 2016

The number of dollar millionaires in the UK fell 15 per cent due to the hit taken by the pound and the stock market, according to a report by Credit Suisse Group AG.

Household wealth in the UK declined by $1.5 trillion, or 10 per cent, in the 12 months through June 2016, as ''a direct consequence'' of the Brexit vote, the No 2 Swiss bank said in its annual global wealth report published on Tuesday.

''The UK had a tumultuous end to 2015-2016, with sharp declines in the exchange rate and the stock market following the vote to leave the EU,'' Credit Suisse said in the report. ''The outlook is very uncertain, both for the economy and household wealth.''

The UK's $14 trillion in private wealth was spread around 49 million adults, of which almost 5 per cent had $1 million or more. The surprise result of the 23 June vote triggered a 15 per cent drop in the pound this year and sent stock market to its biggest one-day drop since the 2008 financial crisis. While equities had rebounded since, then country was faced with political and economic uncertainty over the terms on which the split would take place.

The largest numbers of new millionaires came from from Japan, the US and Germany as the number of people worldwide with $1 million or more increased by 596,000 to 32.9 million. 

"More than 300 of the new billionaires will be from North America," the bank wrote in the report. "China is projected to add more billionaires than all of Europe combined, pushing the total from China above 420."

China's population of millionaires was also expected to increase rise by over 70 per cent between 2016 and 2021 to just under 2,800.

Many banks, including Zurich-based Credit Suisse, are looking to China to help pick up the slack from European markets.

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