There Go the Russians: Oligarchs (and Their Bling) 'Set to Flee Britain Because of Labour's Tax Policies'

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Wealthy Russians
will leave Britain or remove money from the City of London because
of Labour’s high tax policies, according to a leading investment
guru.

Alexei Golubovich,
chairman of Arbat Capital investment advisers, said the trend would
cost the British economy hundreds of millions of pounds.

His warning
of a capital flight comes after a decade which has seen affluent
Reds-to-Riches billionaires buying up property, investing their
vast fortunes, and using London as their gateway to the West.

The popularity
became so great that Russians renamed the capital city ‘Londongrad’
or ‘Moscow-on-Thames’ – but now all that is about to change, according
to Alexei Golubovich, chairman of Arbat Capital investment advisers.

‘Changes in
the tax laws of Great Britain are making more worries for those
foreigners who have English residence permits or passports,’ he
said, suggesting that ‘many Russians will leave Britain for this
reason’.

He stressed:
‘Living in London is not favourable any more.’ He also claimed tax
changes imposed or planned by Labour will force capital abroad to
the detriment of the British economy.

‘More and more
wealthy foreigners, living in Britain for more than 90 days a year
and paying income tax, are transferring their financial assets to
other countries, and even moving themselves to Switzerland, Cyprus,
Hong Kong or Singapore,’ he said in an interview with influential
Vedomosti business newspaper.

‘According
to unofficial estimates of bankers serving the most affluent Russian
clients, from 10 to 25 per cent are considering the option of moving
their funds to other countries, as well as changing the country
where they are registered for tax.’

The sums involved
represented hundreds of millions of pounds, he said, likening the
situation to the 1970s when many wealthy people left Britain.

He told Russians
that ‘tens of billions of dollars’ has been withdrawn already from
British banks by foreigners of all nationalities.

‘More money
will not come into the country in the coming years because the owners
do not want to pay British taxes on what was earned abroad,’ he
said.

‘It is difficult
to estimate how much money will be lost for the budget due to the
fact that British banks will not earn commission from money moved
to Switzerland or Hong Kong, and the fact that those moneys will
not be invested in UK economy.’

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April
28, 2010

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