Exodus of Wealthy Britons Expected from the UK

A survey has revealed that up to 36% of wealthy individuals may leave the UK as a result of rising taxes, the weather and high levels of crime.

In their study of 923 people who have savings or investments of 250,00 GBP or more, Lloyds TSB International Wealth have established that many of them are planning on leaving their lives in the UK behind in search of opportunities abroad. Of those surveyed, 35% specified that they are intending on moving overseas because of high taxes, 44% blamed the unreliable British weather and 43% are concerned by increased levels of anti-social behavior.

Discussing the results, Nicholas Boys Smith managing director of Lloyds TSB International Wealth specified that while their survey does not indicate that a mass exodus is imminent, there is a real threat that the UK’s biggest earners may eventually leave the country: “Regrettably, many wealthy people are dissatisfied with life in the UK and are considering leaving.

“Many high earners are concerned about what they perceive as the tax increases that followed the financial crisis. Despite good recent developments, there are still many countries around which high earners believe offer more favorable tax regimes and importantly, a higher quality of life.”

“The highest earning one per cent in this country contributed 23 per cent of all income tax receipts in 2008/9* and that was before the 50 per cent tax band was introduced. This, coupled with the growth that wealthy people create in their jobs and through their spending, shows that they play an extremely important role in the UK economy.”

Lloyds TSB International Wealth commissioned the YouGov survey as part of an ongoing series aimed at understanding wealthy people’s attitudes to emigration.

In addition to establishing that people were indeed planning on leaving the UK, the survey also confirmed that 45% of those surveyed believe that people in the UK are financially worse off than their equivalents in other developed countries.

* HMRC, November 2010