LONDON: Barclays Wealth, the upmarket arm of the UK-headquartered banking giant, has published its latest Household Wealth Index, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Given the causal factors of the present global credit crisis, it might be thought that banks are the last prophets to whom anyone of sound mind should listen. Be that as it may, Barclays predicts that an  economic sea-change is already under way.

Global wealth distribution, the report foretells, will undergo a seismic shift in favour of developing economies over the next ten years.

Current ways of thinking about wealth distribution will become outmoded, believes BW head of research Michael Dicks.

"By 2017 China, Russia, Brazil and India will overtake some of the world's most developed countries, and this suggests that it is no longer accurate to label these markets as 'emerging' and 'developing' economies," he says. 

The changes will be driven by the rise of market economies along with globalisation, technological and demographic change, and a growing thirst for commodities.

By Barclays' yardstick year of 2017, China is predicted to move from seventh to third in the world wealth rankings, elbowing the UK into fourth place.

Also by that date, the planet's second fastest-growing economy, India, is expected to join the top ten wealth elite. And as a measure of its success the world's largest democracy will by then boast over four million dollar millionaires.

Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff