Due out on Sunday is the 25th edition of the Sunday Times “Rich List” – a list of the thousand wealthiest individuals or families in the UK. For inclusion, they do not have to be British, but they do need to live or work predominantly in Britain – which of course excludes some with sizeable UK assets. In their current teaser, the Sunday Times has revealed that – as he has done since the first edition of the list in 1989 – Sir Paul McCartney “tops the charts” as the UK’s wealthiest musician, with One Direction being our wealthiest boy band. Glad to see that talent is rewarded.
But did you know that you can refuse to be on the list? I suppose you can arrange it by default, by making your financial arrangements so convoluted that no-one can do the sums. But when millionaire traveller Mr Best was interviewed recently by Channel 4 for their programme on how gypsies make their money, he revealed that he had been invited to appear on the list but had declined. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised – the “Rich List” is after all meant to be a bit of fun, not a forensic document for use in court. And to be fair to the editors of the list, they do say that “We measure identifiable wealth, whether land, property, racehorses, art or significant shares in publicly quoted companies. We exclude bank accounts – to which we have no access.” But I do wonder how many MLROs take their copy into work on Monday morning, with any clients highlighted for a quick sense check against their file. I know I would.
And with the word “rich” at the front of my mind, am I the last person in the universe to realise that the über-bonus earning executive who recently left Barclays is called Ricci Rich? Is it too much to hope that he has named his offspring “Stinking” and “Filthy”?