As the rich get richer across the globe, high net worth clients in North America have tightened their grip on their wallets, according to Merrill Lynch’s World Wealth Report.

Before the economy took a plunge, the U.S. was donating more than $200 billion annually to charities around the globe. “This is a continent where charitable giving is part of the culture,” said Ileana van der Linde, a principal in the wealth management practice for Capgemini Financial Services, the company that partnered with Merrill Lynch for the study. “But there has been a 3% reduction since the crisis,” she said in a phone interview.

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