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13 million investors believe that Brexit will not make them wealthier

Lianna Brinded
Head of Finance, Yahoo Finance UK
Smiling Union Jack piggy banks. Photo: REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Britain is bracing for the increasing possibility of a no-deal Brexit. On Thursday, the UK government will release the first of 84 documents which will outline its contingency plans in the event of Britain crashing out of the European Union (EU) without an agreement.

Ahead of the announcement, the not-for-profit trade body, which aids the provision of capital to UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the Enterprise Investment Scheme Association (EISA) conducted its own research on whether investors and the British public feel that they will be wealthier in a post-Brexit and sent it to Yahoo Finance UK.

EISA surveyed a nationally representative pool of 2,007 people where each person was asked what their investable assets were worth. Of those people, 1,122 had investable assets, ranging from under £1,000 to over £250,000.  EISA then gave them a list of questions that were all based around “whether they feel their individual wealth will and has increased after the decision to leave was made.” The respondents were asked to provide anecdotal and quantitative analysis for their answers.

The trade body then used the percentages as a representation of the wider population, for example, since the 2,007 figure is nationally representative, over half of the nation has investable assets according to the survey. The percentages are then converted to a per million figure by the polling company to be nationally representative as the respondents’ demographics.

Subsequently, the survey showed that 13 million investors (44%) believe that Brexit will not make them wealthier. This is versus 19% who believe that Brexit will make them wealthier while the remainder are unsure. Some 14.5 million investors said they have also seen their wealth decrease since the Brexit referendum.

Investors would’ve seen their investments slide if pegged to the pound. Sterling has fallen from over $1.45 (GBP/USD) since the date was set for the EU referendum in February 2016. When Britain voted to leave the European Union in June 2016, it slumped to a 31-year record low against the dollar.

Chart: Yahoo Finance

The day after the Brexit vote also led to global markets bleeding more than $2 trillion in paper wealth— the worst on record, according to data from S&P Global. Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index also showed that on the same day, the world’s 400 wealthiest investors lost a combined $127 billion.

A few months later, investors delayed or canceled investments in Britain, putting £65.5 billion worth of projects at risk, according to a survey of senior executives commissioned by Hitachi Capital and the Centre for Economic and Business Research.

Britain has just under eight months to go until it leaves the European Union. It is unclear whether it is going to be a hard Brexit, even though UK government officials are preparing for the worst.