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British expats looking east

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Much has been said about the contrasting economic fortunes of east and west in the last few years. While growth remains sluggish in places such as Europe, markets in the Far East are booming.

This has not escaped the attention of people in the UK who are keen to set up home overseas. Indeed, a new report from NatWest International Personal Banking (IPB) has revealed a growing number of Britons are setting up home in places such as China and Singapore.

As a result, interest in traditional hotspots for expats such as France, Portugal and Spain has waned over the last year. This suggests money transfer companies may soon see a much greater number of people moving funds between the Far East and the UK over the next few years.

Dave Isley, Head of NatWest IPB, believes the changing tastes of would-be expats reflect ongoing changes in the global environment.

"As businesses expand their operations into foreign markets, they have to be able to identify executives who can move seamlessly between markets and cultures," he observed

Many of those who have taken the plunge and relocated to the Far East have taken on jobs in their new home. Indeed, figures from NatWest IPB showed that in the last year, there has been an 18 per cent surge in the number of British expats securing positions in Singapore and China. By contrast, the number of foreign nationals being recruited in the US has dropped by 11 per cent.

NatWest IPB noted that salaries in the Far East are typically higher than in other parts of the world and therefore very attractive to those who are looking at living in another country. The company said its appeal has been further underlined by the fact that its tax regime is much less "burdensome" than that at home.

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