By Maximilian Clarke

15% of British expats have cancelled plans to return to the UK, finding their finances and living standards in better shape abroad, Lloyds TSB International has revealed.

Frequent negative reports about the state of the UK economy, coupled with concerns about societal breakdown exacerbated the August riots, have pushed the numbers of expat Britons with no plans to return to the UK to record highs of 69%- up 13% in a year.

“From economic woes to August’s riots, the UK has faced a catalogue of bad news in recent months,” commented Tony Wilcox, Managing Director — Expatriate Banking, Lloyds TSB International. “Coupled with expats’ view that the quality of life is higher and they are financially better-off abroad, it’s not surprising that so many have cancelled their plans to return to the UK.”

Expats also think their country of residence is a better place to raise children — 51 per cent hold this view against only 11 per cent who disagree. The schools are better, their neighbourhoods are safer, there are more places for children to play and activities to do.1 And many expats appreciate the chance that living abroad gives their children to experience another society and culture, while also learning a foreign language in most countries.2

Ultimately, 68 per cent say they are happier living abroad than they were in the UK and only 7 per cent say they are less happy overseas.

Tony Wilcox continued: “Considering longer-term trends, I think expats’ increasing happiness with life overseas also reflects that large groups of people in the UK are gradually becoming more outward-looking with increased global travel, more international business and many people generally coming into more contact with other cultures. It has become easier and a more natural transition for some people to settle in and enjoy life overseas than it would have been 20, even ten, years ago.”

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