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Swiss residents top world financial wealth list

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Swiss residents top world financial wealth list
The high life in Geneva: report notes growing inequaiity of incomes in Switzerland. Photo: Allianz
21:25 CEST+02:00
Swiss residents remain the wealthiest people in the world on a per capita basis, according to a report released on Tuesday that also maintains they are the most indebted on the planet.

Net financial assets for people living in Switzerland averaged €146,540 (146,540 francs or $188,000) in 2013, up 6.2 percent from the previous year, the global wealth report from German insurer Allianz said.

Switzerland came ahead of the US, where average financial assets after debt rose 14.2 percent to €119,570 euros, Belgium (€78,300, up 4.6 percent), the Netherlands (€71,430, up 3.8 percent) and Japan (€71,190, up 7.6 percent).

The fifth edition of the Allianz Global Wealth Report concluded that the total financial assets of households in more than 50 surveyed countries grew in 2013 by 9.9 percent from the previous year to a record €118 trillion, its highest rate of growth in a decade.

Much of the growth was stoked by stock market gains, although the “US was the only region in which a substantial volume of fresh funds was pumped into shares or other securities,” the report said.

“Europeans, in particular, continued to pull their money out of this asset class.”

The report indicates that Europe’s growth in wealth lagged behind that in the US and Japan, with low interest rates hindering growth in the Eurozone.

It said that growth in Germany — Switzerland’s biggest single trading partner — was slower than the European average, although the Germans remain champion savers.

“German savers would appear to be stuck in crisis mode and shying away from making investment decisions.”

Insurance, pensions and bank deposits accounted for more of financial assets on a per capita basis in Europe than securities, the report said.

Allianz also highlighted the growing inequalities with distribution of wealth “deteriorating” in most countries.

The rise in wealth for the top ten percent has grown most markedly in the US, the insurer said, but it added that inequality had increased considerably in Switzerland and other European countries, including France, Italy and Ireland.

Among other findings, the report puts Switzerland on top for gross per capita financial assets (€220,000, up 4.2 percent), well ahead of second place US (€150,780, up 11 percent).

While Swiss residents, like those in Germany, are among the world’s top savers they also have the highest private debt level, averaging €75,490 per person.

The wealth report is based on data from 53 countries accounting for almost 91 percent of global GDP and 69 percent of the world’s population. 

For more on the report, check the Allianz website.

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