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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