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UK’s wealthy expect London to remain Europe’s financial capital

  • More than two thirds of High Net Worth Individuals think London will continue to be Europe’s financial capital for next decade
  • Eight-in-ten are confident about the future of the UK economy but most admit their money ‘makes them anxious’
  • Wealthiest respondents are most confident about the economy but also most anxious about their own wealth
  • COVID-19 seen as biggest threat to wealth, closely followed by inflation 

High-net-worth-individuals (HNWIs) in the UK have a positive outlook for the prospects of the economy and London’s position as financial capital of Europe, but are less confident when it comes to their own money – with almost two-thirds saying they feel ‘anxious’ about their wealth, according to the inaugural Saltus Wealth Index.

The Saltus Wealth Index surveyed attitudes of over 1,000 people in the UK with investable assets of over £250,000 about how they felt about the UK economy, their own wealth and what matters most to them personally.

The research found that most (80%) respondents have confidence in the future of the UK economy with a third (33%) feeling “very confident”. However, this decreases with age, with just 5% of over-65s saying they feel ‘very confident’ compared with nearly two fifths (37%) of those aged between 18-54.

Those living in Greater London are more than twice as likely to feel ‘very confident’ about the UK economy over the next six months than those living in the West Midlands (41% compared to 18%). HNWIs in Wales have the least confidence in the UK economy, with only 28% being ‘very confident’ in its future.

Confidence in London’s financial pulling power remains, with 68% saying that London will continue to be Europe’s financial capital in the coming decade. This rises to 75% amongst Londoners and 76% amongst those in the South-East. The feeling is strongest amongst those aged 18-24 and 45-54, with both at 72%.

Despite retaining confidence in the nation’s prospects, nearly two thirds of HNWIs in the UK feel anxious about their money, with younger people much more likely to feel anxious than older generations. When asked if they agreed with the statement ‘my money makes me feel anxious’, more than one-in-four (28%) of respondents aged under-24 said they ‘strongly agree’ and 39% said they ‘somewhat agree’. In contrast, just 8% of respondents over-65 said they ‘somewhat agree’, and none ‘strongly agreed’ with the proposition.

The research also found that the greater their net worth, the more anxiousness that was experienced by respondents. Amongst those with assets of £3 million and above, over a third (35%) said they ‘strongly agree’ that their money makes them anxious, compared to fewer than one-in-five of those with assets of less than £1million.

Respondents believe that COVID-19 has presented the biggest threat to their wealth, with almost a third (31%) citing the long-term impacts of the pandemic having the greatest impact, closely followed by inflation (28%). For under 24s, exchange rates (30%) and climate change (24%) were both bigger worries than inflation (22%).

Michael Stimpson, Partner at Saltus said: “The UK faces a series of unprecedented challenges, with recovery from the pandemic, decarbonising the economy and addressing historic inequalities all major priorities. The Saltus Wealth Index solicits the views of the people who will play a vital role in funding these transitions, through the tax they pay, the wealth they create or both. It is therefore reassuring to see that they are optimistic about the UK’s recovery prospects and their own finances – with nine-in-ten saying they feel confident about the next six months.

 “However, the research has also revealed that most respondents have some concerns over the longer-term, with a majority saying their money makes them feel anxious. There are a number of factors causing these feelings of unease, including lingering post-pandemic uncertainty, which highlights more than ever the importance of having a robust financial plan in place, for both financial and personal wellbeing.”

 

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