The latest Mortgage Solutions poll asked brokers for an update on their GDPR preparations by 25 May.
Just over half of respondents are either on track, or ahead of schedule for the compliance efforts, while 6.8% are falling behind. However, a concerning 24.3% are unprepared, and a 17.5% entirely unaware of what GDPR is.
“There is no doubt that this is going to have a huge impact on how we operate, and the products we advise on such as mortgages, protection and general insurance,” said Daniel White, managing director of White Financial Services.
He continued: “As business owners and advisers, we all have a responsibility to ensure we are fully prepared in good time for these changes, and it’s something that needs to be embraced by every business – like any regulatory change.
“I’m very surprised at the percentage of unprepared and unaware – more so the unaware. GDPR is spoken about quite commonly these days so it is quite difficult not to become aware of the changes.
“It is so important that not only do we ensure our businesses are protected, but our clients are, as well,” White added.
“It’s worrying that a combined 48.6% of firms are essentially not prepared. At the very least most should understand what’s required of them with the new regime and how it will impact their businesses, and the changes required,” said Alastair McKee, managing director of One 77 Mortgages.
He continued: “For example, will they have enough time to implement the changes considering most are behind or are unprepared?”
But McKee also noted that GDPR could create conflicts with regulatory requirements.
“As a business, we have a regulator that tells us we need to keep data on file to defend any claims which, if you interpret the new GDPR rules literally would mean you’d have a conflict, and I’d assume would ask ‘who’s rules do a follow, GDPR or the regulator?’”
“I know the answer,” McKee added, “but it would be good for some clarification from the regulator for the smaller firms or firms that are unprepared or confused by the potential changes.
“I’m slightly concerned that 17.5% are entirely unaware,” said Matt Lowndes, managing director at Coreco.
“This is a massive new regulation and to know nothing is pretty shocking, to be honest. AMI have been sending out regular communication on it, so it surprises me,” he continued.
Lowndes added: “The ICO has a very good section on their website regarding the changes. It provides a checklist and I’d advise brokers to check it out ASAP.”
Craig Calder, director of mortgages, Barclays was recently featured in Mortgage Solutions urging businesses to get started on their GDPR preparations. Separately, Mortgage Solutions has compiled a seven step GDPR guide, which you can find here.