Personal investors may vote to leave EU


25 February 2016
The Share Centre recently consulted personal investors regarding their opinions on the upcoming EU referendum and potential Brexit. The survey showed that investors displayed a willingness to vote to leave the EU.
The Share Centre conducted an earlier survey in August 2015 and at that time, the majority of personal investors said they would vote to stay in the EU. This was following David Cameron’s 2013 objective of achieving “fundamental and far-reaching change,” including the development of the UK’s relationship with the EU. However, the recent survey showed that investors felt the reform proposals fell far short of those planned by Cameron in 2013. A total of 72% of personal investors said that they felt David Cameron had not succeeded in obtaining the necessary concessions for the UK.
Richard Stone, chief executive of The Share Centre, said: “Finally, with the end of the tax year approaching, a significant proportion of investors (just over 1 in 3) is telling us they are either already changing their investment decisions or plan to do so. With decisions to be made about whether to invest more in ISAs or pensions and if so what investments to then purchase, investors may feel between a rock and a hard place given that interest rates also look like staying lower for longer now and so cash will continue to deliver little in the way of a return.”
The issue of immigration was raised by personal investors, with 52% stating that the recent immigration issues in the EU had increased the likelihood of them now voting to leave. However, when investors were asked to rank the key issues influencing their vote; they considered sovereignty (32%), the impact of EU regulations (28%) and economic issues (23%) all ahead of immigration (17%).
The survey clearly shows the consideration of economic factors over immigration as important to investors. Almost 1 in 5 personal investors (19%) stated that they were more likely to vote to leave the EU due to global economic instability. A large percentage of the participants in the survey (49%) were concerned about how the referendum would affect the stock market. However, despite these potential negative effects, investors are still willing to vote to leave the EU.
The most recent survey also shows a noticeable shift of opinion regarding how investors feel leaving the EU would impact the UK overall. Almost 60% of investors now believe that leaving the EU would be slightly (21%) or largely (39%) positive for the UK in regards to future prospects. This figure has risen from 44% in August 2015, which is a considerable increase within only a six-month period.
Richard Stone also noted: “Now the draft reform proposals have been published there has been a dramatic shift in opinion in favour of exiting. The strength of support for a vote to leave, the shift since August 2015, and the fact that a significant majority of investors now believe a vote to leave would be positive for the UK as a whole, is really significant.”


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