A new report from Lloyds TSB International indicates that previous estimations of the number of British expats planning to return to UK shores may be incorrect with the number of expatriates planning to repatriate falling in recent months.
Within an online survey of 867 expatriates in January, the international banking group found that 67% of British people currently living overseas had no short-term plans to return to the United Kingdom. This represents a rise of 11% in comparison with the previous year’s survey results. In addition to this, of the 900 people questioned, 65% said that they felt their financial outlook was more positive in their host country than it would be in the United Kingdom. Just 14% of those surveyed said that they would be financially better off if they returned to the UK.
Of those surveyed, just 4% of expats surveyed have plans to return to the UK in the next year. Of these, just 12% said they were moving back because they missed the UK lifestyle, while 21% said they were making the change for the benefit of their career.
The findings from the Lloyds TBS research appear to deviate from earlier research conducted by currency dealer Moneycorp which, in 2010, found that the number of expatriates returning to the UK increased four-fold between 2009 and 2010.
Jakob Pfaudler, managing director of Lloyds TSB International, postulated that the reversal in trends may be directly attributed to the current economic situation in the United Kingdom, which may be deterring expatriates from returning:
“We knew that most people who move abroad are glad they did so, but we were surprised at the growing pessimism about financial prospects in the UK,” he said.
“Much has been made of ‘austerity Britain’ in the press and elsewhere, and it seems to be contributing to expats’ decisions to settle elsewhere for good.
“But generally we continue to find that lifestyle, not financial considerations, are the decisive factors in expats’ keenness to stay overseas” he added.