Latest News

More expats cancelling plans to return to Britain

25th October 2011

Britain’s grim economic outlook and the summer’s riots may have contributed to putting more than 800,000 expats off returning to their home country this year.


A better life? 68 per cent of expats say they prefer being based overseas


In February, Lloyds TBS International released a survey that suggested 67 per cent of expats had no plans to return to Britain– compared to just 56 per cent when the same survey was conducted six months before.

Now, research by the company has revealed that even more people (69 per cent) are planning to stay abroad permanently, with 15 per cent saying they have cancelled plans to return in just the past year.

A combination of improved financial prospects and the belief that quality of life is higher overseas seemed to be the main motivation behind expats’ decision to stay. Despite the financial hardship that many expats, particularly those in Europe, have suffered due to adverse currency fluctuations since the beginning of the economic crisis, 64 per cent said they were still financially better-off abroad, with only a quarter saying that the cost of living was higher.

Nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) per cent said their quality of life was higher, with 51 per cent agreeing that their new home was a better place to bring up children. Many expats also felt safer abroad, with just 13 per cent saying that their neighbourhoods in Britain had been less dangerous.

Tony Wilcox, managing director of expatriate banking at Lloyds said that concern over Britain's economic problems, and the riots which took place across the country earlier this year, were likely to have cemented the decision to stay for many. “The perception from abroad of Britain is driven largely by what they see in the paper and on TV, and what they’ve seen this year is increasing inflation, low growth, unemployment, and the summer's riots. These go together to make a collage of Britain that is not as appealing as it would once have been, and it is not surprising that expatriate life starts to looks more favourable.”

Gordon Maddock, a retired policeman living in Almería, Spain, said that he knew very few people who were returning to Britain from choice. “Some go for family, or financial reasons, but the majority of my friends prefer life where they are now… All we’ve seen about Britain recently has been very doom and gloom, and with things like the riots, there’s not really been any explanation offered. That makes people very paranoid about returning.”

Mr Maddock said that something he had noticed in particular was that due to the tuition fees rise, many children of expats were cancelling plans to return home for university: “They're questioning why they would need to go back to Britain, as it’s so much cheaper to be educated abroad.”

Overall, 68 per cent of expats surveyed said they were happier living away from Britain, with only seven per cent admitting they were less happy.

Source: Telegraph 24/10/11