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The number of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) around the world has gone up while their combined savings rose by 10% to reach a record high of $46.2 trillion (£29 trillion) last year, reversing a 1.7% drop in 2011, according to research from Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management report Harris & Co accountants Northampton.

The World Wealth Report shows a one million increase in the global HNWI population, which now stands at 12m. The biggest proportion (3.7m) live in the US, which has reclaimed the top slot from Asia-Pacific (3.6m).

Jean Lassignardie, chief sales and marketing officer, Capgemini global financial services, said: ‘However, North America’s lead in both population and wealth is likely to be eclipsed again in the future by Asia-Pacific. Interestingly, while North America led in HNWI population, Asia-Pacific actually had a higher overall wealth growth rate at 12.2%, compared to North America’s 11.7%.’

The UK came fifth in the HNWI population country ranking, with a 5.4% increase in the total number of HNWIs to 465,000 in 2012. UK HNWI wealth was also up by the same amount, reaching $1.6 trillion (£1 trillion) in 2012.

The only area not recording strong growth in its HNWI population according to the survey was Latin America, which led growth in 2011, but faltered in 2012 due to slow GDP growth and challenged equity markets.

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