Scotland business

Barclays: Number of Scottish millionaires down by 10%

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The number of millionaires in Scotland has fallen sharply this year but overall prosperity has risen, according to new research.

The annual Barclays prosperity map found 43,000 Scottish adults were worth seven figures in the year to April.

That was more than 10% fewer than last year's study.

Barclays attributed the fall to a decline in some economic measures used to calculate the numbers, including corporate profits.

Scotland now commands a 6.2% share of the UK's millionaires, down from 6.7% in 2015.

However, the prosperity index also suggested Scotland saw the biggest increase to household wealth of any area of the UK in the year.

It rose by 13% north of the border, ahead of both London (up 12%) and the South East (up 11%).

Image caption The study suggested that Scotland saw the biggest increase to household wealth of any area of the UK

Barclays said the rise could be linked to Scotland's median private pensions wealth.

It jumped 60%, compared with 19% in England and 24% in Wales.

Activity by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) was also on the up, which Barclays said was a strong indicator of rising prosperity.

Scotland recorded the biggest growth in SME turnover at 8%, ahead of London in second place at 7%.

Overall, Scotland was the seventh most prosperous area on the index, behind the East Midlands, Northern Ireland, South West and Eastern England, South East and London.

The report said every area in the UK was more prosperous than last year.

'Upward trajectory'

Wealth, spending or earnings rose across the country, while jobless rates dropped.

The research uses factors such as average annual pay, the percentage of households giving to charity, business growth rates and exam scores to generate a "prosperity index" score for each area of the UK.

Calum Brewster, from Barclays, said: "It is reassuring to see that prosperity in Scotland is on an upward trajectory. Our SME sector in particular is thriving, leading the UK in terms of growth.

"A strong performance across key indicators like GDP, household wealth and consumer spending signals growing confidence in our economy which is encouraging given the wider uncertainty in the global marketplace.

"Our research demonstrates that Scotland is very much 'open for business' and is a prosperous place in which to live, work and invest.

"Not only that, it continues to make a strong contribution to the economic prosperity of the UK as a whole."