Advisers struggling to meet GDPR demands, finds Intelliflo

By Miles Reucroft
Apr 11, 2018 10:23:00 AM

With just weeks to go until the 25 May deadline, advisers still have work to do to ensure they meet the demands of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), finds Intelliflo.

During mid-February to early-April 2018, 245 users of Intelliflo’s Intelligent Office (iO) suite of business management tools completed a survey testing their knowledge about the new regulation. The results showed around one in five (18%) reached ‘Expert’ status, scoring between 90% and 100%

Almost three in five (58%) who took part reached ‘Pro’ status, scoring between 60% and 90%, while just under a quarter (24%) were still at the ‘Rookie’ stage, scoring between 0% and 59%.

Rob Walton, Intelliflo’s chief operating officer and chair of the Intelliflo GDPR Working Group, an industry group set up in 2017 and which represents around 2,000 UK-based advice firms, comments: “The message about needing to take action to comply with the GDPR is definitely getting through to advisers. Last September we found that around 9% weren’t even aware of the new regulation. The knowledge survey shows that around 99% now do know about it and the majority are taking steps to increase their understanding of the regulation, although there’s still plenty of scope for improvement.”

In addition to the knowledge survey, Intelliflo is collaborating with Brookland Computer Services, a specialist technology solutions and advisory firm with 20 years’ experience working for regulated clients in the financial services and legal markets, to run a detailed readiness assessment, enabling iO users to quickly asses how far their systems already meet the new regulation and helps them identify which areas need attention. The assessment dovetails with a comprehensive GDPR toolkit, which was launched to users of iO in February 2018.

The toolkit, also created by Brookland with Intelliflo, provides a detailed overview of all aspects of the new regulation, also taking into account the discussions and agreements of the ongoing Intelliflo GDPR Working Group. As well as highlighting each of the requirements covered by the GDPR, it also provides advisers with useful advice and checklists to guide them to take appropriate action to achieve compliance.

Rob Walton continues: “We’ve created tools to give our customers a practical and effective way of engaging with the new requirements. They are particularly useful for advisers who are working alone or in small firms as they don’t have the resources of a team of support staff or on-site compliance experts. However, they are just as much at risk of incurring fines or being sued by disgruntled clients as the large adviser firms, should a data breach happen.”