Only one in four SMEs (254%) have prepared for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) deadline, according to a survey by invoice finance provider Close Brothers .
Just one in three SMEs (33.3%) are aware of GDPR's implications, even though they are covered by the majority of its provisions.
The GDPR – a European Union directive which comes into force in the UK on 25th May 2018 – includes provisions for the EU to levy huge penalties on businesses found guilty of a compliance failure.
In the most serious cases, firms could be fined up to €20m or 4% of their annual global turnover.
However, almost three-quarters of SMEs (73%) reported that they didn't share customer data with third parties.
David Thomson of Close Brothers said: “The GDPR regime includes requirements for new processes such as the employment of data controllers, privacy impact assessments and greater choice for customers, including the right to be forgotten – businesses will also be required to disclose all data breaches to regulators.
“Some of the rules sound deceptively simple, but many firms will struggle to cope because they don't even have a clear idea of what data they currently hold on customers, or where and how it is stored.
“All organisations must take the GDPR seriously and SMEs are no exception.
“Making an investment now in order to prepare and protect your business is essential if you do not want to risk incurring significant financial penalties – or the major reputational damage that a public breach of the new regulation would undoubtedly cause.”
SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER TO RECEIVE MORE NEWS LIKE THIS STORY
Nationwide partners with seven fintechs to support financially squeezed
Nationwide Building Society has selected seven fintech companies to create apps that will increase financial capability...
Metro Bank to open first store in Liverpool
Metro Bank is set to open a new store in Liverpool on Paradise Street...
Investec removes SVR from all new fixed rate mortgages
Investec Private Bank has removed the standard variable rate (SVR) on its two-, three-, four-, five- and 10-year fixed rate product range for all new clients...
Mid-size automotive manufacturers miss out on £25bn in revenues
UK mid-sized automotive manufacturers could be missing out on £25bn in revenues as a result of insufficient access to funding, according to research from Wyelands Bank...
Leek United hires new finance director
Leek United Building Society has named Rob Broadbent (pictured above) as its new finance director...
Handelsbanken posts 7% lending surge
Handelsbanken has revealed in its latest quarterly results that its UK lending increased by 7% to £21.1bn in Q1 2019 compared with the same period last year...
Al Rayan Bank expands Birmingham headquarters
Al Rayan Bank has expanded its operational headquarters in Edgbaston, Birmingham...
Cynergy Bank bolsters senior leadership team
Cynergy Bank has strengthened its senior leadership team with two new appointments...
Dispelling overseas property investment myths
When people talk about overseas buyers ‘snapping up’ UK property, assumptions about their supposed negative impact on the housing market abound...
Arbuthnot Latham appoints private banker to Manchester office
Arbuthnot Latham has announced the appointment of Barry Grieve as senior private banker to its Manchester office...
United Trust Bank launches exclusive broker promotion
United Trust Bank (UTB) has launched its 2019 ‘Live and Learn’ broker promotion...