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Wealth gap yawns wide between UK's ethnic groups - think tank

LONDON (Reuters) - People of Black African ethnicity in Britain typically have just one eighth of the wealth of white British people, an economic think tank said, calling for reforms to narrow the wealth divide between ethnic groups.

The Resolution Foundation said the differences impacted the ability of households to cope with the COVID-19 crisis.

People of Black African ethnicity had on average 24,000 pounds ($32,000) of family wealth per adult, rising to 31,000 pounds for people of Bangladeshi ethnicity and nearly 42,000 pounds for those with mixed white and Black Caribbean ethnicity.

People of white British ethnicity held 197,000 pounds of family wealth per adult, the Resolution Foundation said.

At least half of Black African, Bangladeshi and Black Caribbean ethnicity households held less than 1,000 pounds in savings before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

“Despite significant progress in closing education and employment gaps between different ethnic groups, these wealth gaps are likely to persist,” George Bangham, an economist at the Resolution Foundation, said.

“Even high earners will struggle to save their way to being high wealth, while white British people are much more likely to inherit significant sums than those of other ethnic groups.”

The Resolution Foundation proposed wealth tax reforms, help for first-time home buyers that targets young people unable to count on family funds, and more generous tax pension tax relief for lower earners.

($1 = 0.7487 pounds)

Writing by William Schomberg; editing by William James

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