Business

Amid global uncertainty, billionaires go on manoeuvres – and leave the UK

Billionaires and millionaires are on the move again, and it’s bad news for the UK. According to Henley & Partners’ Global Citizens Report for Q2 2022, the UK is in the top 10 countries losing high-net-worth individuals, alongside Russia, China, Brazil and Mexico. 

The report reveals that Russia is expected to lose 15% of its entire millionaire population in 2022, while in the UK, a combination of concerns about Brexit and higher taxes for the wealthy have damaged the country’s long-term appeal. This year, a net outflow of 1,500 wealthy individuals from the UK is forecast.  It has suffered the loss of 12,000 millionaires since 2017, says the study.  

The US is likely to see a net inflow of 1,500 in 2022, but this is a sharp drop of 86% since 2019, when it saw the arrival of 10,800 millionaires. 

Conversely, Canada, Israel, Portugal, and Switzerland are among the most favoured countries as the wealthy begin relocating post-pandemic. The United Arab Emirates comes out on top with an estimated net inflow of 4,000 wealthy individuals in 2022, following an inflow of Russians since the war in Ukraine. Singapore is expected to be Asia’s biggest net beneficiary this year, with an estimated 2,800 wealthy individuals choosing the Lion City. 

Family offices deciding on the most attractive country to relocate – perhaps due to political instability in their home nation or a tough tax regime – face a complex decision. And as the world continues to lurch from one crisis to another, and governments swing from left to right and back again, views continually evolve. 

In a discussion at STEP Global Congress 2022 in London on 7th and 8th July, entitled “Changing views on wealth and global mobility of high-net-worth individuals”, a panel of legal experts provided insights on tax/legal developments in countries where attitudes to tax have become progressive.

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