US citizens living in the UK have taken advantage of the devaluation of the pound in the wake of June’s Brexit vote to move millions of dollars into the country in search of investment and property bargains, expat specialists said.
The pound has dropped to a 31-year low against the dollar, leading to a surge in business from US expats in particular, said Currencies.co.uk, a foreign exchange specialist. It saw a 72 per cent increase in dollar-sterling trading volumes in the period from June 24 — the day after the referendum — up to this week, compared with the same period in 2015.
WorldRemit, an online money transfer service, said the average value per person of money transferred from the US to the UK was up 78 per cent on October 19, compared with June 1.
Wealth managers and financial planners also reported a marked increase in US expats moving money to the UK. Bambridge Accountants said it has seen a threefold increase in the number of US clients looking to take advantage of the slide in sterling.
Yet despite concerns that the UK might pull out of the EU customs union or face restrictions on free movement across the remaining member states, money continues to flow into the UK from the US.
“We have seen a significant uplift in customers with dollar cash or assets investing heavily into the UK,” said Islay Robinson, co-founder and chief executive of Enness Private Clients, a mortgage broker for the super-rich. “The currency exchange differential since the referendum has created a significant increase in the purchasing power of US citizens coupled with a property buyers’ market.”
Worries over a possible Trump presidency were also driving US expats to exchange their dollar assets for sterling, Mr Robinson added. “This seems to be a perfect time to invest in non-US assets.”