Study shows UK expat professionals happy to stay overseas

Published:  9 Jun at 6 PM
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A recent study has revealed only one in every 10 British expats living overseas has any serious intention of returning to the home country.

The survey’s results showed the majority of expatriate Britons had made the decision to leave due to relocation by their company or the desire to start a business overseas. No mention was made of the hundreds of thousands of retirees who left for a better quality of life in a warmer country, very few of whom, it would seem, have any intention of returning to a post-Brexit world.

Respondents to the study were mostly garnered from expat communities in Hong Kong, Australia, the USA, Germany, France, the UAE and South Africa, but the total of Britons living abroad is thought be around five million or even more. The poll highlighted aspects of expat life including more lucrative careers, a far better quality of life, lower costs of living in some destinations, better education and childcare and far kinder weather. In spite of respondents’ immediate reactions to the question of their returning to the UK, 10 per cent of those surveyed indicated they might consider the move, with a further 21 per cent of fence-sitters uncertain about their futures.

As regards sending money home, 72 per cent said they were doing so on regular basis. with others happy to accumulate their spare cash in local banks. Those who were repatriating their savings regularly weren’t too happy about high fees and varying exchange rates. Some are using offshore banks more used to receiving and sending overseas payments than their high-street rivals, and the use of online money transfer sites was fairly common.

Other complaints concerned extortionate foreign ATM charges for the use of home-country debit cards when withdrawing funds for special purchases or occasional expenses such as medical costs. With Brexit negotiations looming against the backdrop of yesterday's snap general election result of a hung parliament, expats withdrawing money from sterling accounts are in for an unpleasant shock.
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