UK to lose the most millionaires by 2028, says UBS


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The UK is set to lose the most millionaires of any country by 2028, according to an analysis of global wealth trends by Swiss bank UBS, one of the world’s biggest wealth managers.

In a report published on Wednesday, it projected that the number of dollar millionaires in the country would fall 17 per cent from 3.062mn in 2023 to 2.542mn in 2028. The Netherlands was also forecast to lose 4 per cent of its millionaires by 2028.

The two countries bucked a worldwide trend in which the number of millionaires is set to rise in 52 out of 56 countries, UBS said.

Paul Donovan, chief economist at UBS global wealth management, said the key factor was that highly mobile wealthy people had been attracted to the UK and Netherlands for many years. Now “forces of give and take in the global economy” were starting to change where this group of people wanted to live.

A period of “structural upheaval in global wealth” was driving “nomadic global wealth” now located in the UK out of the country, he said.

This included the impact of Russian sanctions — particularly as wealthy Russians had historically used London as a home for their assets — as well as the allure of rival low-tax jurisdictions, such as in the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.

Many millionaire entrepreneurs wanted to be closer to their businesses due to a rise in “economic nationalism” and shifts in supply chains.

“The UK has the third-highest number of dollar millionaires after the US and China and . . . for a country the size of the UK or even the economy the size of the UK, that’s a quite remarkable statistic,” Donovan said. Due to the high levels of “nomadic” millionaires in the country, he added, the UK would be disproportionately affected by shifts in millionaire relocations.

Bar chart of 2023-28 (% change) showing World millionaires

Taiwan was projected to experience the largest growth in millionaires — up 47 per cent from 789,000 in 2023 to 1.158mn in 2028 — driven by growth in its microchip industry and an expected rise in immigration by wealthy foreigners.

While recent changes to the tax rules affecting non-doms have led to reports of rich people leaving the country, Donovan said overall this was only a small factor affecting UBS’s forecast.

Figures released by HM Revenue & Customs this week reported there were 74,000 non-doms in the UK in the 2022-23 year — with 37,800 of this group paying the fee of at least £30,000 required to keep the tax benefits after being UK resident for more than seven years.

Overall, UBS’s report estimated $83.5tn of wealth would be transferred within the next 20 to 25 years.

The company’s analysis on the UK losing millionaires echoes recent research produced by global investment migration advisory firm Henley & Partners last month. It said the UK would experience a net loss of 9,500 millionaires in 2024 — second only to China worldwide — and more than double the 4,200 millionaires who left the country in 2023.

The research also revealed that more millionaires had been leaving the UK than arriving over the past decade, with the UK suffering a net loss of 16,500 millionaires between 2017 and 2023. The UK’s withdrawal from the EU was a factor, its research found.

Additional reporting by Katie Martin in London



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