Saturday, May 17, 2014

Never had it so good

Britain's richest people are wealthier than ever before, with a combined fortune of £518.975bn, according to this year's Sunday Times rich list which is based on "identifiable wealth" - including land, property, other assets such as art and racehorses, or significant shares in publicly quoted companies. It excludes bank accounts, which the Sunday Times has no access to and, of course, undeclared tax haven hoards.

The 1,000 richest Britons now own the equivalent of a third of the nation's gross domestic product, with their combined wealth rising 15.4% on last year's total of £449.654bn.

To get into the top 500, the rich need £190m – double the £80m required in 2004 and up £30m from the £160 million cut off point for last year's list.

Philip Beresford, who has compiled the ranking since 1989, said: "I've never seen such a phenomenal rise in personal wealth as the growth in the fortunes of Britain's 1,000 richest people over the past year. The richest people in Britain have had an astonishing year.”

Some 104 billionaires are now based in the UK with a combined wealth of more than £301bn. It means Britain has more billionaires per head of population than any other country, while London's total of 72 sterling billionaires is more than any other city in the world.

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