Almost half of China's rich want to leave the country, Barclays says
A report out from venerable British bank Barclays released Monday said almost half of its rich clientele plan on leaving the country in the next five years, more than millionaires from any other country.
The investment bank published its annual review of its high-net worth individuals on Monday. It shows the world's wealthiest are becoming more mobile and worldly than ever.
More than 40 per cent of them have lived in more than one country — the first time since Barclays started keeping track that that's been the case. More than a fifth of them have lived in at least three countries.
"The wealthy are increasingly being motivated to move between countries in order to fulfill their international career aspirations, seize financial opportunities and ensure a better quality education for their children," Barclays said in the report, which polls more than 2,000 of the bank's customers around the world, each with a net worth of at least $1.5 million of investable assets.
The report also finds that some cities — notably London, New York and Singapore — have become "wealth hotspots" to which the world's rich are increasingly drawn.
Canada a top destination
But the report also found that 47 per cent of the firm's wealthy Chinese customers said they planned on leaving the country permanently in the next five years. That was well ahead of rates seen in the U.S. and Japan, where six and seven per cent, respectively, said they were planning on leaving soon.
"The reality is that most ultra-high net worth individuals in China are probably making money in China right now. So, for business reasons, they need to be relatively close," said Liam Bailey, head of research at real estate consultancy Knight Frank.
- Ottawa says the door is still open to rich Chinese
- Super-rich Chinese stuck in Canadian immigration limbo
"For business reasons, they need to be relatively close. That might prevent some of them going further afield," he said.
Canada is among the most desirable places they say they'd like to go. Among Chinese who were planning an exit, Canada was the second-most popular destination, favoured by 23 per cent of people. That figure was just behind the 30 per cent who said they planned to go to Hong Kong, and just ahead of the 21 per cent who said they planned to go live in the U.S.
Other regions with a disproportionately high percentage of rich people planning to leave include Latin America (where more than a third say they plan on leaving) and Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, where between a quarter and a third of people say they're going to get out.
Generally speaking, cities in North America and Europe are a top destination choice for the world's wealthiest — especially English-speaking locations like the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, and then Singapore and Hong Kong.
"Whether the attraction is to do with the legal system, the English language or high quality professional services, the English-speaking world still dominates these patterns," Bailey said.