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Britain likely to lose nearly one in six millionaires by 2028, report says

By Dave Graham

ZURICH (Reuters) – Britain is likely to lose nearly one in six of its U.S. dollar millionaires by 2028, but their number is set to grow in other countries including the United States and surge in Taiwan, according to a report published on Wednesday.

The UBS Global Wealth Report for 2024 forecast the number of dollar millionaires in Britain would fall by 17% to 2,542,464 in 2028 from 3,061,553 last year. It also forecast a 4% fall in the Netherlands, to 1,179,328 from 1,231,625.

Paul Donovan, Chief Economist of UBS Global Wealth Management, said the shift away from Britain partly reflected the fact that, with the third highest number of millionaires, its figure was currently “disproportionately high.”

“You have obviously seen in the U.K. over the last few years, as you have seen in other countries, implications arising from sanctions against Russia,” he told a press conference.

Donovan said Britain’s decision to scrap its “non-dom” status – which lets wealthy, often foreign residents avoid tax on overseas income – had also had a “small effect.”

“The non-indigenous millionaire population, the global population, which is constantly shifting, will be looking for low tax locations all of the time,” he said, adding this was “not a function of UK policies per se” but reflected the “pull factors” of other countries, pointing to Dubai and Singapore.

British real estate group Winkworth said separately on Wednesday that demand for high-end properties had been dented by tax policies targeting wealthy individuals and a proposal by the new Labour government to tax private schools.

The UBS report forecast the total of dollar millionaires in the United States would rise by 16% by 2028, in Germany by 14%, in France also by 16%, in Japan by 28%, in Spain by 12% and in Italy by 9%.

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UBS said that for its report “wealth” is defined as the value of financial assets plus real assets owned by households, minus their debts. The report is based on 56 markets accounting for around 92.2% of global wealth, the Swiss bank said.

Overall, in dollar terms, global wealth grew by 4.2% in 2023 after a decline of 3% in 2022, the study said.

The number of adults worth over $1 million will have risen in 52 of the 56 markets by 2028, the report forecast. The strongest growth in millionaires – of 47% – was expected to be in Taiwan, driven by the country’s microchip industry.

UBS said that over the 15 years it has published its report the Asia-Pacific region has posted the biggest growth in wealth, up almost 177%, followed by the Americas at nearly 146%, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) was up just 44%.

Asia-Pacific had, however, also seen the sharpest increase in debt, the report said. Total debt in the region was up by over 192% since 2008, more than 20 times the growth in EMEA and almost four times the rise for the Americas.


(Reporting by Dave Graham, Editing by Timothy Heritage)


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