The Russians won’t skip the country just yet

 

Outlook: A few words on this talk of the exodus of rich Russians, and their money, from London.

First: rich Russians don’t hold much of their assets in London. They may own homes in Belgravia and Knightsbridge worth millions, but their empires are owned offshore, and always have been. They do not hold billions of dollars in their UK Coutts accounts. Freezing orders, if there were any, won’t ice much here.

Second: the idea that they will be stampeding to sell those homes and skip the country are wide of the mark. Flogging a £40m townhouse in Chester Square takes time. A £100m flat in One Hyde Park even longer. Even if they wanted to sell up in a hurry, they couldn’t.

Third: as a Russian mother of two living in London tells me, most of these people have been here for years. Their children are in the best English public schools or universities. They can live without their every move watched by armed bodyguards. They won’t dump their English lives unless they have absolutely no other option.

Fourth: if tougher sanctions on high-profile oligarchs do come in – and that is an extremely  big “if” – they only make up a tiny fraction of the thousands of extremely wealthy Russians living here. As for whether it will happen, I am extremely sceptical. Would a British government really send Chelsea FC into potential financial crisis by driving Roman Abramovich out of the country?

However, that is not to say that the next generation of wealthy Russians will not seek other parts of the world in which to live. Britain certainly seems a less friendly place to Muscovites and Saint Petersburgers now than it did when the first wave of settlers came over in the Nineties and Noughties. Russian banks these days are offering high interest rates on big deposits in the hope of encouraging people to stay, while playgrounds such as Sochi are offering havens for the superyacht crowd.

Young, rich Russians  could well decide to stay at home.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Swiss Banking and Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - 6 month FTC - Central London

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...

Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application) - Agile

£215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...

Guru Careers: Software Engineer / Software Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before