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NEARLY HALF OF UK ADULTS POLLED INTEND TO ACTIVATE NEW PERSONAL DATA RIGHTS

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NEARLY HALF OF UK ADULTS POLLED INTEND TO ACTIVATE NEW PERSONAL DATA RIGHTS

15 per cent intend to activate new rights in May 2018 as the law is ratified

Nearly half (48 per cent) of UK adults plan to activate new rights over their personal data, according to a poll* of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by SAS. The poll explores the nation’s sentiment towards upcoming legislative change that empowers consumers with new rights over how their personal data is handled by organisations. Fifteen per cent of adults polled even expressed their intention to activate their new rights in the same month that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May 2018.

The 45- to 54-year-old age group is most likely to issue a request, with just over one in five (21 per cent) thinking they will active their new rights in the first month. The propensity to submit a request drops to 13 per cent in the 18- to 24-year-old age category.There are regional variations, with adults in the North East and South East more inclined to submit a request within the first month (18 per cent). This drops to 12 per cent in Wales, 11 per cent in the East of England and just 7 per cent in Northern Ireland.

The poll revealed which rights UK adults would welcome most:

  • 64 per cent welcomed ‘the right to access’ (e.g. get a copy of personal data held about them)
  • 62 per cent welcomed ‘the right to erasure’ (e.g. erase personal data from certain systems)
  • 59 per cent welcomed ‘the right to rectification’ (e.g. if personal data is inaccurate or incomplete)
  • 56 per cent welcomed ‘the right to object’ (e.g. using data for marketing and profiling)
  • 54 per cent welcomed ‘the right to restrict processing’ (e.g. if they contest accuracy of data)
  • 43 per cent welcomed ‘rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling’ (e.g. the right to seek human intervention following an automated decision they disagree with)
  • 38 per cent welcomed ‘the right to data portability’ (e.g. obtaining and re-using data)

Compliance with the new data rights, which promote openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals, is said to be proving challenging for organisations. Gartner recently warned that by the end of 2018 at least 50 per cent of companies will not be in full compliance with the regulations.  The consumer poll explored which organisations would receive a request to remove or provide access to consumer data with social media companies, retailers, insurers and supermarkets ranking top of the list.

Percentage of consumers who will request for personal data to be removed Percentage of consumers who will request access to personal data
Social media companies 39% 26%
Retailers 33% 24%
Insurance 33% 29%
Supermarkets 30% 23%
Political parties and organisations 30% 21%
Energy suppliers 27% 27%
Banks 21% 32%
Employers/previous employers 21% 22%

“Finding customer zero is a huge challenge for some organisations. Personal data is often stored in thousands of databases and organisations will need to find, evaluate and categorise every piece of data relating to each customer to ensure compliance,” said Charles Senabulya, Vice President and Country Manager for SAS UK & Ireland. “Overcoming this challenge presents an opportunity for organisations as they form a new type of relationship with their customers that is bound by integrity, understanding and respect for their individual choices. We are entering a new data era that requires a firm grip of customer data. One that rewards consumers as well as protects their right to privacy.”

The poll also asked consumers what information they were prepared to share with their favourite brands or organisations, so they could benefit from improved or tailored services. It revealed that only a minority would voluntarily share what their friends and relatives like or dislike (five per cent), details on their social media activity (six per cent), information on their feelings or emotions (seven per cent) or insight into their credit rating (eight per cent), political preferences (eight per cent) and opinions on societal issues (nine per cent). In contrast:

  • 41 per cent would share basic demographics (e.g. age, gender, social economic group)
  • 24 per cent would share personal contact details (e.g. postcode, mobile number)
  • 24 per cent would share partner status (e.g. married, single, widowed)
  • 22 per cent would share shopping habits (e.g. store preference, shopping days)
  • 19 per cent would share lifestyle and culture (e.g. interests, shopping habits, holidays)
  • 17 per cent would share sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability
  • 16 per cent would share their favourite brands
  • 14 per cent would share media preference (e.g. type of newspapers/publications)

The younger you are, the more willing you are to share your personal information. The poll revealed that the percentage of people willing to share information in each age category generally decreased with age. This suggests a shift in attitudes towards personal data among a new generation of consumers.

* The survey of 2,000 UK consumers was conducted by OnePoll, between 24 and 26 May 2017.

Business

An unprecedented Black Friday: How can retailers prepare?

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An unprecedented Black Friday: How can retailers prepare? 1

Retailers must invest heavily in their online presence and fight hard to remain competitive as a second lockdown stirs greater uncertainty

With an unprecedented Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend on the horizon (27th – 30th November), eCommerce hosting and consultancy expert, Sonassi, advises retailers to strengthen their online presence and make the necessary preparations for a fatigue in consumer spending.

James Allen-Lewis, Development Director at Sonassi, explains: “This year’s golden quarter has squeezed together three of the biggest sales periods like never before, meaning retailers will have to fight harder than usual to remain competitive this Black Friday. With greater discounts over a longer period of time, alongside the fact that a second lockdown has moved everyone and everything online, retailers will be battling it out for a share of decreasing consumer spending.

“However, this sense of uncertainty should not deter merchants from implementing their sales strategies this Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. Instead, they must go further than simply providing online discounts and tackle challenges head on by re-focusing their efforts on creating a highly competitive user experience. Successful merchants will make the necessary preparations for a change in consumer demand and invest more heavily in their eCommerce infrastructure.

“One way in which retailers can do this is by using last year’s Black Friday as a case study to inspire their future response. For example, retailers should take note of the key consumer behaviours that transpired throughout last year’s mega peak in discounting and plan accordingly for the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber-Monday weekend.

“Tactics such as providing the ultimate online delivery service and secure payment methods will also be pivotal for retailers looking to survive a fatigue in online spending. Consumers will look to retailers who do not overpromise on items like next-day delivery and ensure their checkout process is safe and frictionless for all. It is the retailers who embrace this fact and meet the needs of the conscious consumer that will win their share of consumers wallets.

Allen-Lewis concludes: “With Black Friday and the build-up to Christmas just around the corner, retailers must adapt to changing consumer demand, invest more heavily in their eCommerce infrastructure and focus their efforts on creating the ultimate online experience. The only way to plan ahead amid challenging times is to listen to the needs of the customer.”

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Optimistic outlook for 2021 public M&A

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Optimistic outlook for 2021 public M&A 2

Optimism is returning and the outlook is positive for the Australian M&A market in 2021 after a COVID-induced crash in deal activity in 2020, according to Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s tenth M&A 2021 Outlook report.

The special report reveals that an environment of historically low interest rates positions M&A as a significant means of achieving growth and generating returns, including for private equity firms looking to deploy capital and strategic buyers focused on complementary acquisitions.

With the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, global political instability and arguably the greatest economic challenge since the Great Depression, M&A 2021 Outlook details somewhat surprising trends emerging for the next 12 months and analyses a number of common COVID-19 myths and their influence on future M&A deal making.

Corrs’ detailed examination of the Australian M&A market draws on data taken from the firm’s proprietary database of transactions combined with in-depth research for the 12-month period ending 30 September 2020.

Key trends identified in the report include a rapid escalation in M&A levels and an increase in creativity in pricing and speed in closing deals, while also highlighting the critical need for support from target shareholders. Conditions also appear to be set for a continued rise in equity prices as a result of the ongoing influx of capital into Australian equity markets, making it imperative that bidders employ strategies to move quickly on M&A transactions.

Discussing the M&A 2021 Outlook, Corrs Head of Corporate, Sandy Mak, said “Despite a challenging year, our research indicates that 2021 could well see the volume and value of deals continue to grow. We are already witnessing this uptick in activity and while some industries and sectors are seeing a faster rebound than others, early indications are that the wider public M&A market will continue to strengthen over the coming months.”

Based on its detailed research, the M&A 2021 Outlook report discusses further key findings including:

  • Deal volume and value is the lowest since 2016, however volumes have shown significant recovery since June 2020.
  • More than 50% of deals in 2020 were ‘hostile’ and not recommended at the outset.
  • 71% of deals over A$500 million were structured by way of a takeover – a significant increase from prior years – largely as a result of increased competition for assets through rival bids.
  • Despite border closures and the tightening of foreign investment regimes, the percentage of deals with foreign bidders has increased materially since April 2020.
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Business

5 steps for SMEs to budget properly for the coming year

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5 steps for SMEs to budget properly for the coming year 3

By Fabio Comminot, Head of Dealing, Switzerland at Ebury, one of Europe’s largest Fintechs, has provided a five-step guide to make sure budgeting is done on time.

During the challenging times of COVID-19, it is difficult to forecast orders and costs. This is especially true for SMEs that operate internationally and therefore are exposed to currency fluctuations and market movements. So budgeting is immensely important.

Autumn is budget season for most companies. Upcoming project costs, sales and fixed costs must be defined or forecasted. Budget planning should be as accurate as possible right from the start of the process to avoid unexpected consequences at the end of the year..

With the effects of the COVID pandemic it has become difficult for all companies, no matter their size or history, to plan and make sales forecasts. Early planning and hedging are especially important for companies that work internationally and are therefore particularly exposed to currency risk.

These five steps will help SMEs take the right measures for the coming financial year, in time for budget season:

Step 1: Estimate your costs or sales in foreign currencies 

As difficult as it may seem, every company must estimate its expected fixed and variable costs for the coming year. Most companies can forecast their revenues based on experience or existing orders.

However, start-ups or young companies should also be able to at least estimate their costs including rents, insurance, wages and production costs. Special attention should be paid to costs or revenues that are spent or received in a foreign currency.

Step 2: Profit or cost assurance – define the strategy

As soon as an approximate plan for the coming year is in place, the company should consider the importance of currency management. Regular earnings or expenditures in foreign currencies are exposed to movements in exchange rates. If costs in a foreign currency are to be forecasted until the end of the year, the company needs to minimise volatility. This means that the exchange rate should be fixed so that there are no unexpected negative consequences at the end of the year.

Another option would be to protect the operating profit. Fluctuating exchange rates can rapidly ruin intended profit margins. In this case the company could aim to define the forecasted sales in the foreign currency and fix the margin based on this.

Step 3: Fix your budget rates 

The budget is set, the currency management goals are defined, the major part is done. Now it is a matter of defining the budgeted rates for the various currencies based on the current exchange rate. A buffer of about 5% can be useful when doing this – for example. instead of fixing the exchange rate from US dollar to Swiss franc at the current 91 cent, a rate of 95 cent could be budgeted. In this way, the minimum budget rate is defined and any negative exchange rate movement can be at least partially compensated for.

Step 4: Define the hedging strategy

With the targets and the budget course set, the next questions are: What currency developments can be expected? What is the industry outlook? Is the order situation relatively secure? Or is there practically no empirical data?

This step is where Ebury can support the company. Our experts in FX markets help answer these questions and begin to define the individual hedging strategy.

Step 5: Ensure a flexible fit

It’s done: the measures have been defined, now it’s time for implementation.

Ebury will implement the previous steps and , so that the company focuses on its core business. In contrast to traditional financial services providers such as banks, Ebury constantly monitors international trade and political events in order to assist clients with strategy adjustments. The Ebury team is supported by state-of-the-art technology and international currency analysts. It makes no difference whether the changes are driven by the currency market or whether the company’s order situation itself is changing. This allows the SME to focus on its operational business, which is worth a lot in uncertain times like these.

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