Scots household wealth ‘grew fastest in UK’

Scotland’s household wealth grew the fastest in the UK over the past year, according to the latest Barclays UK Prosperity Map.

Household wealth in Scotland rose by 13% — higher than both London at 12% and the South East of England at 11%.

Scotland’s small business performance was also good with an increase in small and medium enterprise (SME) turnover of 8%.

Scotland rose three places in the Prosperity Index.

Barclays said GDP in Scotland remained the third highest in the UK, behind only London and the South East of England, growing 9.8% year on year.

However, the number of millionaires in Scotland fell from 48,000 to 43,000, consistent with the whole of the UK where there was a slight reduction.

Akshaya Bhargava, chief executive of Wealth, Entrepreneurs and Business Banking at Barclays, said: “As we look at the future of global trade and inward investment it is the success of our entrepreneurs that will help drive future prosperity — it is essential that business leaders and policy makers continue to nurture these growth areas in order to ensure that these trends continue.”

The 2016 Barclays Prosperity Index showed an overall rise in prosperity across every region of the UK in comparison to last year’s study — and the prosperity is spreading across the UK.

Bristol and Cambridge saw higher growth in house prices than London — 14% for Cambridge, 13% for Bristol and 11% in London.

Northern Ireland saw the largest year-on-year increase in average earnings at 9%.

Barclays said about 690,000 people in the UK are now worth at least seven figures — meaning 1 in every 67 adults in the UK is a millionaire.

This was down 3.8% on 2015 — but the longer term trend remains strong with the number of UK millionaires increasing by 34% since 2010.