By David Kemp, EMEA Specialist for Micro Focus Secure Content Management division
Recent evidence from financial institutions internationally suggests organisations have made a lack of significant progress in creating effective GDPR programmes, but have simultaneously become fatigued by the regulation.
Designed to enforce respect for personal data with draconian sanctions, which came into effect on 25th May 2018, it is surprising that more advanced execution of GDPR programmes is not in force.
The real business drivers
While one can appreciate that this is “yet another regulation”, there are two major factors which should attract immediate attention. Firstly, compliance requires the search for, as well as the classification, protection and policy enforcement of personal data as a function of fundamental records management and data security. Secondly, in addition to risk management, there are active operational efficiency benefits to be gained and even new revenue to be generated from sound adherence.
So can financial institutions find innovative business drivers and value extraction from prudent regulatory compliance?
Two major European insurers have recently found that safeguarding personal data can be facilitated by meticulously identifying all silos of available data, and then cleansing these of usually over 30% of redundant, obsolete or trivial information. Therefore, GDPR acts as a catalyst for core data management and security – in turn, presenting new income opportunities from enhanced and defensible data exploitation.
Revenue increase through compliance
Consider a global bank headquartered in the UK with a primary driver of generating new products and revenue from legal exploitation of high net worth individual data. A fundamental risk to its success is the un-coordinated extraction of personal data – leading to a potential GDPR breach. Therefore, it is in the bank’s best interest to pursue data management and encryption. The secret is that the improved metrics following GDPR data cleansing and personal data analytics actually continue to advance the business.
Another example is pharmaceuticals company, Astellas, which, in a heavily regulated industry, has a GDPR compliant mission. Its over-riding business objective is to ensure that when years of research are completed, a proposal for clinical acceptance – which safeguards the identity of the trial patients – will be authorised. So, in a way, GDPR is an accelerator of sound data life cycle management and security for top line return on capital.
The economics of improved customer attraction
Organisations should also regard the early adoption of the GDPR as a competitive advantage for attracting and retaining customers. For example, a Finnish media group has been able to ensure existing client loyalty and attract new readership by stamping “GDPR effective” on its website – achieving a critical goal across every industry. First and foremost, instilling trust that the data supplied will be respected – and in accordance with Purpose Limitation – deleted when the company is no longer permitted or justified to hold it.
Privacy processing as a new service and revenue source
Financial institutions may also gain advantages from the consequential effect of providing personal data processing as a service. Take a global Japanese electronics group, for example. The company is not just selling satellite navigation for private cars, but also creating a new revenue stream by offering to insource, cleanse and return the personal navigation data when a used car is sold.
Similarly, a key European airport has recognised that not only does it have its own major volumes of GDPR relevant personal data, but that it is the “spider in the middle of the web”. In other words, a myriad of merchants on its premises have the same issue, as do all the airlines flying to its facilities. It therefore decided to create virtue out of necessity by facilitating its own compliance via careful data life cycle management and security measures. In doing so, the airport was then able to insource data from the merchants and airlines to create a new revenue stream for data integrity and customer data management.
Is advanced execution of GDPR programmes relevant to financial institutions? It should be as we move into the Brave New World of “open banking”, where there is competitive advantage in improving efficiency, trust and data mining.
While the GDPR was primarily intended to safeguard identity, financial institutions can create opportunities from the necessity to comply. By using the new processes and technology required for compliance, financial services can not only increase front-end returns, but achieve ROI from the inevitable cleansing of data – achieving savings in back-up, storage and archiving.
UK delays review of business rates tax until autumn
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s finance ministry said it would delay publication of its review of business rates – a tax paid by companies based on the value of the property they occupy – until the autumn when the economic outlook should be clearer.
Many companies are demanding reductions in their business rates to help them compete with online retailers.
“Due to the ongoing and wide-ranging impacts of the pandemic and economic uncertainty, the government said the review’s final report would be released later in the year when there is more clarity on the long-term state of the economy and the public finances,” the ministry said.
Finance minister Rishi Sunak has granted a temporary business rates exemption to companies in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, costing over 10 billion pounds ($14 billion). Sunak is due to announce his next round of support measures for the economy on March 3.
($1 = 0.7152 pounds)
(Writing by William Schomberg, editing by David Milliken)
Discounter Pepco has all of Europe in its sights
By James Davey
LONDON (Reuters) – Pepco Group, which owns British discount retailer Poundland, has targeted 400 store openings across Europe in its 2020-21 financial year as it expands its PEPCO brand beyond central and eastern Europe, its boss said on Friday.
The group opened a net 327 new stores in its 2019-20 year, taking the total to 3,021 in 15 countries. The PEPCO brand entered western Europe for the first time with openings in Italy and it plans its first foray into Spain in April or May.
Chief Executive Andy Bond said its five stores in Italy have traded “super well” so far.
“That’s given us a lot of confidence that we can now start building PEPCO into western Europe and that expands our market opportunity from roughly 100 million people (in central and eastern Europe) to roughly 500 million people,” he told Reuters.
To further illustrate the brand’s potential he noted that the group has more than 1,000 PEPCO shops in Poland, which has a significantly smaller population and gross domestic product than Italy or Spain.
The company, which also owns the Dealz brand in Europe but does not trade online, has already opened more than 100 of the targeted 400 new stores this financial year.
Pepco Group is part of South African conglomerate Steinhoff, which is still battling the fallout of a 2017 accounting scandal.
Since 2019 Steinhoff and its creditors have been evaluating a range of strategic options for Pepco Group, including a potential public listing, private equity sale or trade sale.
That process was delayed by the pandemic, but Steinhoff said last month that it had resumed.
“The business will be up for sale at the right time. It’s a case of when, rather than if,” said Bond, a former boss of British supermarket chain Asda.
Pepco Group on Friday reported a 31% drop in full-year core earnings, citing temporary coronavirus-related store closures.
Underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were 229 million euros ($277 million) for the year to Sept. 30, against 331 million euros the previous year.
Sales rose 3% to 3.5 billion euros, reflecting new store openings.
($1 = 0.8279 euros)
(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by David Goodman)
Fashion-focused livery launch reveals new colours for Gasly, Tsunoda in 2021
Scuderia AlphaTauri debuted their colours for the 2021 Formula 1 season as drivers Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda unveiled the team’s new look with the livery for their AT02 racecars. The setting was a fashion-forward launch in the all-new showroom of AlphaTauri, Red Bull’s premium fashion brand.
Salzburg (AUSTRIA) – Formula 1 team Scuderia AlphaTauri served up a stylish preview of the new F1 season with a presentation of its 2021 livery alongside key looks from the upcoming Autumn/Winter 2021 collection of Red Bull’s premium fashion brand, AlphaTauri. The launch – held at AlphaTauri’s new showroom in Salzburg, Austria and presented digitally – marked the first time that drivers Pierre Gasly of France and Yuki Tsunoda of Japan have appeared together as teammates.
After a successful first season racing in AlphaTauri colours, the Italian outfit is looking to challenge the top of the ultra-competitive midfield in 2021, and the two young drivers have been assigned clear-cut roles. Gasly is Team Leader. The 25-year-old, who made his Formula One debut with the team in 2017 under its former name, Scuderia Toro Rosso, has earned two F1 podiums. During the 2020 campaign, Gasly’s maiden win at Monza was a defining moment for him and the team under its new name.
Tsunoda, 20, is the first Japanese driver to race in F1 since 2014, his promotion coming off the back of a fast, four-season trajectory from winning the 2018 F4 Japanese Championship and finishing third in the 2020 FIA F2 Championship to entering the top-level ranks this year. Expectations are high for his rapid style of learning to complement the experience of Gasly.
“The decision to go for Pierre and Yuki in 2021 was taken because Scuderia AlphaTauri’s philosophy is still to give talented young drivers from the Red Bull Junior Program the opportunity to step up to F1 and to educate them – this is why Yuki now gets his chance,” explained Team Principal Franz Tost. “With Pierre on Yuki’s side we have an experienced driver, who can help our Japanese rookie to develop faster, but at the same time we can aim for good results. I think this pair is the best possible scenario to achieve both our targets, and I’m also confident this will be a successful one.”
In 2020, Scuderia AlphaTauri won best livery by a landslide, and the team’s all-new, matte blue and white racecar livery took center stage with the drivers at the fashion event, anticipating the 2021 model that will debut at pre-season testing in Bahrain on 12 March. The test is the precursor to an unprecedented 23-race schedule, and in preparation for the demanding calendar both drivers have spent time at Red Bull’s Athlete Performance Center for intense fitness testing.
“I’m ready to take on the role of team leader. Yuki is a very quick driver, and he will help us move the team forward – we will work together to achieve that,” said Gasly, the team’s all-time top points scorer. “I really believe last year was the team’s best in terms of the way it worked, the development, the performance and the way it managed the race weekends. I’m always hungry for more, and I’m sure we can achieve great things in 2021.”
Tsunoda, who was honored with the Anthoine Hubert Award for best Formula 2 rookie in 2020, added, “I’ve been lucky enough to spend some time with Scuderia AlphaTauri ahead of the season, so I’m already developing strong relationships and learning a lot from them – including Pierre, who is an incredible talent. My main goal is to learn quickly and deliver results as soon as possible, and I’m really excited to get started.”
The launch at the AlphaTauri Showroom not only gave Gasly and Tsunoda a preview of the AlphaTauri Autumn/Winter 2021 fashion collection, but the drivers had the chance to select their new off-grid looks ahead of the season start.
Ahmet Mercan, CEO AlphaTauri, summarized: “This is a triple reveal at a unique point of time: a new AlphaTauri Showroom where fashion meets F1, a first look at the AW21 AlphaTauri collection and the unveiling of the new Scuderia AlphaTauri F1 livery and driver pairing.”
Scuderia AlphaTauri fans don’t have long to wait for racing action: The FIA Formula 1 season kicks off at the Bahrain Test on 12-14 March, in preparation for the Bahrain Grand Prix on 28 March.
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