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UK household wealth surpasses £7 trillion mark

 

Total household wealth in the UK has surpassed the £7 trillion mark for the first time, latest research suggests.

 

According to new data from Lloyds TSB Private Banking, net wealth, which includes the value of residential buildings and financial assets minus outstanding debts, has been estimated at £7.05 trillion for the end of 2012.

 

Despite the economic downturn, researchers found that household wealth has grown by an estimated £2.71 trillion since 2002, equating to an average gain of around £86,000 per household.

 

Two-thirds of this increase has been attributed to a rise in bank and building society accounts deposits and greater levels of ownership of government bonds, shares, life assurance and pensions.

 

‘Most of this increase came during the 'boom' years prior to 2007 when the economy grew rapidly, with rising employment and incomes,’ explained Lloyds economist Nitesh Patel.

 

Yet while total UK household wealth has increased, the study exposed a growing divide between the fortunes of the rich and poor.

 

‘While wealth has soared in the past decade, there is a large divide in where it has accumulated,’ Mr Patel said.

 

‘The wealthiest 10% of households hold 22 times more wealth, on average, than those in the bottom half’.