British millionaires bullish on Brexit as economy's performance since the EU referendum reassures the UK's wealthiest

 
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British millionaires are bullish on the effect Brexit will have on the UK economy and on their own finances, a survey has found.

Three-quarters of the high-net worth respondents said leaving the EU will have a long-term positive impact on the UK, according to the survey by UBS Wealth Management.

Some 70 per cent also of the respondents with more than $1m in investable assets (which excludes property) think Brexit will give the UK economy a short-term boost, ahead of the government officially beginning the process of leaving the EU on 29 March.

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Meanwhile more than 70 per cent of the 401 respondents think Brexit will have a positive effect on their own finances.

A similar proportion believes the UK will continue to be a “safe haven” country for global investors looking for a secure jurisdiction for their wealth.

Wealthier Britons may have been reassured by the strong performance of the UK economy and stock markets, said Nick Tucker, head of UK domestic at UBS Wealth Management.

“The equity market has been significantly more robust than some commentators were suggesting,” he said. That, coupled with a boost for investors holding foreign assets in devalued pounds, has had a positive impact on millionaires’ outlook for the UK.

Tucker added: “The dialogue was so negative pre-Brexit so the reality has been much stronger.”

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While the survey did not ask how the respondents voted in the referendum, the findings point to a complex picture of how wealthy Brits have responded to the Brexit vote.

Younger millionaires, for instance, are the most positive about the effects leaving the EU. 83 per cent said Brexit will have a “positive impact” on their long-term financial planning, compared to only 70 per cent of 35- to 44-year olds, and 74 per cent of pension-age millionaires.

Only 35 per cent of the wealthy 18-34 year olds questioned believe Brexit is one of the biggest sources of uncertainty, well below the 68 per cent of voters older than 65 who thought it was one of the top fears.

A poll last week from Ipsos Mori showed wealthier respondents were more likely than any other social class to think Brexit would be bad for their standard of living. However, the opinions of millionaires are not well represented in most polls of the general population, given their relatively small proportion.

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While the number of millionaires is hard to estimate accurately, a study from the Institute for Fiscal Studies indicates only the wealthiest two per cent of the population had household wealth per adult above £1m in 2012. That would correspond to more than 800,000 millionaires in the UK.

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