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UK millionaire ranks shrink 15% on Brexit: Credit Suisse

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 - 11:06

[GENEVA] The number of dollar millionaires in the UK slumped 15 per cent as the country's vote to leave the European Union rattled the pound and the stock market, according to a report by Credit Suisse Group AG.

Household wealth in the UK declined by US$1.5 trillion, or 10 per cent, in the 12 months through June 2016, as "a direct consequence" of the Brexit vote, the No 2 Swiss bank said in its annual global wealth report published on Tuesday.

"The UK had a tumultuous end to 2015-2016, with sharp declines in the exchange rate and the stock market following the vote to leave the EU," Credit Suisse said in the report. "The outlook is very uncertain, both for the economy and household wealth."

The UK's US$14 trillion in private wealth is spread around 49 million adults, of which almost 5 per cent have US$1 million or more. The surprise result of the June 23 vote helped fuel a 15 per cent decline in the pound this year and sent the local stock market to its biggest one-day drop since the 2008 financial crisis. While equities have rebounded since then, the country is facing political and economic uncertainty over the terms on which the split will take place.

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Japan was the main winner during the 12-month period, with household wealth in the world's third-largest economy surging 19 per cent to US$24 trillion, buoyed by the appreciation of the yen versus the US dollar. Wealth in the US climbed for the eighth straight year, to US$85 trillion, according to the report.

Japan, the US and Germany accounted for the largest numbers of new millionaires as the number of people worldwide with US$1 million or more rose by 596,000 to 32.9 million. The countries expected to post the fastest growth rates of millionaires in the next five years are China - 73 per cent - as well as India, Australia and Canada, according to the report.

Worldwide wealth advanced 1.4 per cent to US$256 trillion in the 12 months through June, reflecting lacklustre economic growth, and is expected to reach US$334 trillion by 2021, according to the report.

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