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Davos - Richest 100 in Britain Saw Wealth Increase by £55.5bn Since 2010

Monday, 16 January, 2017

The 100 richest people in Britain have seen their wealth increase by £55.5bn since 2010, according to analysis by The Equality Trust. In addition, research released by Oxfam today found just 8 people have as much wealth as half the world's population. Ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos tomorrow, The Equality Trust calls on politicians and business leaders to commit to reducing global and national inequality levels.

Analysis by The Equality Trust found:

  • The richest 100 families in Britain have seen their combined wealth increase by at least £55.5bn* since 2010. An average increase in wealth of £653m each, or £2 million each per week.
  • Since the financial crash in 2008, the richest 100 families in Britain have seen their combined wealth increase by at least £12.57bn**. An average increase in wealth of £151m each, or £364,052 per week.
  • By contrast, median household income has increased by just £4 per week since 2010, and £10 per week since 2008*** Median wealth has increased by just £8,600 since 2010****
  • £55.5bn is the same wealth as that held by the poorest 19% of the population. £12.57bn is the same wealth as that held by the poorest 12% of the population.

Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director of The Equality Trust, said:

"Since the financial crash of 2008 the richest 100 families in Britain have seen their combined wealth increase on average by £364,052 per week, while median household income has increased by just £10 per week. This cavernous gap between the richest and the rest of us should be a real source of worry, not just globally but here in the UK, where extreme inequality is ravaging society. As the IMF, World Bank and recently President Obama have warned, inequality is the scourge of our time and we know that in countries where inequality is high, we see increased rates of violence, mental and physical ill health and lack of trust.

"While many people's incomes have barely risen since the financial crash, a tiny elite has continued to pocket billions. If politicians are serious about building a genuinely shared society, then they urgently need to address this dangerous concentration of power and wealth and tackle our extreme inequality."

*Figures were obtained by comparing Sunday Times Rich Lists in 2010 and 2016. This £55.5bn represents a conservative figure, as 15 of the 100 richest people in 2010 fell out of the list of richest 1,000 (the full list) by 2016, and so their wealth could not be counted. The £55.5bn figure therefore reflects the wealth of the 85 Rich List figures who have remained in the Rich List from 2010-2016. Wealth was adjusted for inflation to 2016 prices.

**Figures were obtained by comparing Sunday Times Rich Lists in 2008 and 2016. This £12.57bn represents a conservative figure, as 17 of the 100 richest people in 2008 fell out of the list of richest 1,000 (the full list) by 2016, and so their wealth could not be counted. The £12.57bn figure therefore reflects the wealth of the 83 Rich List figures who have remained in the Rich List from 2008-2016. Wealth was adjusted for inflation to 2016 prices.

***Figures were obtained from the median household income in the ONS' Households Below Average Income release, 1994/95 to 2014/15 statistical release - https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/households-below-average-income-199495-to-201415  Looking at difference between 2007/08 (£463), 2009/2010 (£469) and 2014/15 (£473) figures.

****Figures were obtained from the ONS's Wealth and Assets Survey, this shows the median wealth increase from 2010/12 - 2012-14, the first and last releases since 2008. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/personalandhouseholdfinances/incomeandwealth/compendium/wealthingreatbritainwave4/2012to2014  

Notes to editors

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact John Hood on 07580 651 337 or john.hood@equalitytrust.org.uk 

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