The 2009 Expat Explorer report has found that foreign expats living and working in the UK are the worst savers and investors globally, with more than a quarter (27% - the highest recorded in the survey) admitting that they have reduced their savings and investments since moving to the UK.
Overall, expats really take advantage of the financial benefits of living away from home, increasing the amount of money allocated to savings and investments on a monthly basis. On average, 72% of British expats are saving more than when they were living in the UK.
Expats continue to be sophisticated investors - almost half continue to invest in shares (46%), more than half (53%) are committed to putting their money in property, while managed funds (42%) and bonds (15%) continue to be popular.
Historically, savings accounts are the most popular way to save for expats across virtually all markets, with the exceptions of Mexico, Malaysia, Japan and South Africa. UK savings are backed by the government up to £50,000, but this assurance doesn’t cover their savings held in overseas institutions, so it wouldn’t surprise me if a significant amount of expat cash returns to the UK. And given Jersey’s new status as the number one offshore financial centre, as rated by the IMF (article), it wouldn’t surprise me if we see that money sooner rather than later.