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Hot topic: SRA issues guidance on client confidentiality

In the January 2015 edition of SRA Update, the regulator has issued guidance to firms on protecting and maintaining client confidentiality.

In the January 2015 edition of SRA Update, the regulator has issued guidance on protecting and maintaining client confidentiality.

We discussed the news with Adam Entwistle, compliance consultant within Compli, as part of our '60 seconds with...' feature for this week's newsletter:

Adam, the SRA has issued updated guidance on client confidentiality. Has something changed?

As the market evolves, different business structures and practices often heighten the risk of non-compliance and, in this case, client confidentiality being compromised. Examples cited by the SRA include M&As, cloud computing and group companies. All of these present challenges in the context of confidentiality and data protection, but they do not alter the fundamental requirement that firms must safeguard client confidentiality.

Sadly the SRA refuses to opine on the appropriateness of systems and, in the unfortunate event that something goes wrong, will judge with the benefit of hindsight. COLPs must therefore be satisfied that their systems are sufficiently robust to maintain client confidentiality and protect client data.