Concerns over data breaches among UK wealth managers’ clients were significantly low compared to their global counterparts according to GlobalData, although the analysis firm predicts both local consumers and firms will catch up with growing awareness of cyber attacks this year.
A survey by company found that while 60 per cent of wealth management providers worldwide believe cyber attacks are increasingly worrying their clients, only 31 per cent of UK managers agree that clients are growing more concerned.
“This somewhat nonchalant level of concern among clients mirrors the view of the firms themselves,” Sergel Woldemichael, wealth management analyst at GlobalData said.
“Our data shows that over a fifth of UK wealth managers are not at all concerned about the aftermath of data breaches to their reputations. On a global level, the proportion of those who are not worried stands at only 8 per cent.”
The analysis firm however believes the low levels of client concern will not persist, having seen more incidents of cybercrime occurring.
The most recent breach in the wider banking industry contributing to consumer awareness, GlobalData said, was the TSB debacle in April last year saw customers being able to view others’ financial information in online banking.
Other incidences outside of financial services such as security breaches with Facebook and British Airways last year are also thought to contribute to consumer sensitivity over data.
“As even these outside factors can influence consumer concerns, UK wealth managers should not underestimate the risks related to cyber crime and data breaches – not only because of the risk of reputational damage, but also the hefty fines introduced by the GDPR,” Mr Woldemichael said.
“Reassuring clients that companies have relevant security measures and contingency plans in place is critical.”
GlobalData added that the UK wealth industry has not seen cyber breaches, with the Panama and Paradise Papers being leaks of a different nature.
It also noted the offshore wealth industry has been performing well regardless, with HNW offshore holdings rising since the 2016 leak.
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