Growing numbers of wealthy Britons are considering leaving the UK, owing to concerns over crime, taxes and the cost of living, according to a survey by Lloyds TSB International Wealth.
France, Spain and the US were the favoured destinations for potential expats.
The online poll, conducted among 1,057 adults with savings and investments of over £250,000, found that 17% of respondents want to relocate overseas within two years. This proportion equates to 450,000 people nationally, and is three percentage points higher than six months ago.
Fear of crime was sharply higher than in the previous survey, with 61% of respondents citing crime and antisocial behaviour as a reason to leave the UK – up from 43%. Almost two-thirds of those polled were more concerned about crime than six months ago, while 73% of those considering emigration said crime is a greater problem than in other developed countries.
Fieldwork for the study was carried out between 30 Aug and 2 Sep, and rising concerns over antisocial behaviour may have been exacerbated by the English riots in early August.
Some 42% of people considering moving overseas said tax is the key reason for leaving the UK, up from 35%, while the cost of living was cited by 52% of respondents
Nicholas Boys Smith, managing director of Lloyds TSB International Wealth, said: “Sadly it seems August’s riots, tax increases and a rising cost of living have cast a pall over life in the UK for some wealthy people. It may re-ignite fears of a 'wealth drain' from our economy as rich people seek pastures new.”
For respondents who were considering a move abroad, France was the most popular destination (21%); followed by Spain (15%), the US (11%), other eurozone countries (10%) and Asia (7%).