One fifth of rich want to flee gloomy Britain-report

Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:25am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Li-mei Hoang

LONDON (Reuters) - One in five Britons with more than 250,000 pounds ($398,800) in savings are thinking of living abroad because they are tired of crime, poor weather and the high cost of living, the wealth management arm of Lloyds Banking Group said on Monday.

Britain, facing the worst economic crisis in nearly a century, is grappling with how to preserve its image as a safe-haven for the international rich while increasing taxes and slashing public spending.

But the research from Lloyds TSB International Wealth showed that 19 percent of wealthy Britons were thinking of moving to euro zone countries like France and Spain or further afield to the United States, Australia, New Zealand or Canada.

"It is clear that a significant and growing minority see opportunity and a better quality of life overseas," Lloyds TSB International Wealth Director Nicholas Boys Smith, who oversaw the report, said in a statement.

"Our research suggests the number of wealthy people leaving the UK is set to increase in the next two years," he said.

"Clearly there's a growing minority that is worried about the outlook; infrastructure, crime, anti-social behavior, tax, red tape and do believe that there are better options abroad," Boys Smith told Reuters.

"What's interesting is one of the highest proportions of people looking to leave are wealthy people living in London, and the highest proportion of wealthy people looking to leave are aged 25-34.

"It is people who are out there with a career in front of them, looking to go out and make money, do things and make their own impact in the world, not just people retiring to France or Spain for a place in the sun," he added.   Continued...

The London skyline is pictured, March 27, 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth