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As of the 3rd July the finance and banking industry operating in the UK is represented by a new trade association, UK Finance.


UK Finance will represent over 300 firms in the UK providing credit, banking, markets and payment-related services. Its members offer a wide range of financial and advisory services across both mutual and corporates, representing regional, national, domestic and international businesses.


According to its website, Its role will be to help its members build customer trust, facilitate industry-wide collaboration and innovation, and work with policy makers and regulators in the UK, EU and at a global level to ensure that the UK retains its position as a global leader in financial services.


UK Finance is led by CEO Stephen Jones who has nearly thirty years financial experience, including with Santander, Barclays, Citigroup and Schroders. Bob Wigley, formerly EMEA Chairman of Merrill Lynch, and a member of the Court of the Bank of England, is the organisation’s Chair.


Wigley will Chair UK Finance’s Board which has been developed to ensure senior and fair representation across the industry, as well as reflecting the previous six associations’ views. It will focus on issues of importance to retail, SME and wholesale customers including ethics, financial inclusion, financial fraud, crime, access to markets and diversity.


UK Finance’s Board will also ensure the consumer voice is represented via the inclusion of a strong, independent consumer champion while significant overlap of board members with the Banking Standards Board will support a close cooperation with its work to promote high standards across the industry.


UK Finance will take on activities previously carried out by:


The Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA)

British Bankers’ Association (BBA)

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML)

Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK)

Payments UK

The UK Cards Association (UKCA)

UK Finance will operate from Angel Court in the City of London




Association News

A joint letter from Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, and Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, was recently published in the Financial Times, outlining the UK Government’s plans for the regulation of medicines as the UK leaves the European Union (EU). In response Mike Thompson, ABPI Chief Executive, said:


“This letter is a welcome recognition that the future of medicines regulation is a key priority for the Government as we negotiate a new relationship with the EU. It also signals a readiness to take a pragmatic approach to Brexit negotiations that puts people’s health first. This is a great first step and we look forward to seeing more detail in the coming weeks and months.


“If patients in Europe are to continue to get safe and effective medicines in a timely fashion, the focus must be on agreeing regulatory partnership between the UK and the EU. The timeframes we need to meet to ensure no disruption or delay mean that confirmation of a reciprocal approach from the EU would provide welcome certainty to more than 500 million patients.”


​​The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) are at the heart of a health sector-wide effort, post-Referendum, to establish consensus on key Brexit issues such as a regulation, trade, immigration and UK science. This has been to ensure that patients and public health are central to Brexit negotiations, and that UK Life Sciences is in as strong a position as possible as the UK establishes a new relationship with Europe.


This work is ongoing, and continues to involve more than 200 global experts from leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies; leading academic groups and research charities (such as the Wellcome Trust); the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA); the NHS and Public Health England; and a vast range of UK Government departments.


Association News


Britain’s bookmakers are demanding an urgent inquiry into a new report by the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) All- Party Parliamentary Group.


The report published on Tuesday January 31 was expected to call for a £2 per spin maximum stake to be imposed on all FOBTs.


But the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) warned such a move would be a hammer blow to High Street bookmakers and threaten thousands of jobs.


The ABB criticised the report as “deeply flawed” and said it had been funded by commercial rivals of Britain’s bookmakers. It demanded an immediate inquiry by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards into the FOBTs All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) which it condemned as a “front for vested commercial interests”.


There is no evidence that a reduction in stake size would decrease the risk of problem gambling.


Speaking ahead of the publication of the APPG report, Malcolm George, Chief Executive of the Association of British Bookmakers said:


“This is a deeply flawed report funded by vested interests who would directly benefit if its recommendations are ever implemented. The report is the view of a tiny group of anti-betting shop MP.  This group has been financed by those with interests in the casino, arcade and pub industries. We strongly believe that the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards should urgently investigate this All-Party Parliamentary Group.


This group of MPs has operated in secrecy, provided no transcripts of the evidence given to their meetings and operated throughout behind closed doors away from public scrutiny. Britain’s bookmakers employ more than 43,000 staff and contribute over £1 billion a year in taxes. But, betting shops are already closing at the rate of more than 100 a year and if the findings of this rigged report are implemented, it could spell the beginning of the end for the High Street bookmaker.”


The FOBTs All-Party Parliamentary Group and its report is funded by the following organisations that each gave £3,000:


Bacta – the trade body for Adult Gaming Centres and Arcades

The Hippodrome Casino

Novomatic, machine manufacturer for casino and arcade industry

JD Wetherspoon – pub gaming machines

LM Consulting – arcades adviser

Praesepe – casinos and arcades company

Campaign for Fairer Gambling – links to the casino industry

The secretariat to the group is the public affairs company Interel which also works directly for Bacta, the Hippodrome Casino and Novomatic.


Association News

Your members and supporters expect communications to be personal, relevant and engaging. The key to personalisation, relevance and engagement is data. And the key to having good data is integration – integration of your CRM and campaign email system.

For too many membership bodies and charities today, campaign email is a one-way street – the campaign emails are sent, but what the recipients do with them is a mystery to most users.

The benefits of modern, integrated engagement are clear:

Improved relevance to members and supporters, increasing retention and revenue;

Improved understanding of member and supporter needs, leading to targeted services, cross-sell and up-sell;

Streamlined content and communications, saving time and money; and

Improved business insight, resulting in timely decision-making and strategic management.

The challenge is that many membership bodies and charities are working with systems that are not ‘joined up’ and which create barriers to staying competitive.

As independent consultants, many organisations are asking Hart Square…

What does integrated engagement look like? What should I be aiming for?

Do I upgrade my current systems, or replace them?

What about integrating my CRM and campaign email systems?

What is the rest of the sector doing?

This workshop will examine the questions above, and allow you to hear from other non-profit organisations who are addressing the challenge.

Hart Square will facilitate the discussion and help derive some answers for you.

Click here to register for free and read more about this event


News has reached me that Michael Webb, formerly editor of this publication, passed away on 17th June after a short illness.


Michael started Conference House in 1991 to organise conferences and exhibitions in the not for profit sector. His flagship event was the Charities and Association Exhibition (CHASE) which started the following year and has been running for 25 years. He also founded, wrote and edited two bi-monthly e-mail newsletters, NFP TECHNO on technology issues and Association News on membership issues. He became a Director of the association management company Not For Profit Business Services in 2014 where he introduced a number of additional services to their client base.


In the not for profit sector where he made his biggest professional impact, he will be sadly missed by his friends and colleagues. But his previous experience included working in drinks sector marketing, retailing and wholesaling products such as Smirnoff, Gilbeys, Baileys, Malibu, and Piat d’Or.


Association News

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has appointed William Bain to accelerate its research and further strengthen its voice on Brexit. Bain’s previous experience includes five and a half years as a Member of Parliament, during which he served as Shadow Food and Farming Minister, and was a member of the BIS Select Committee working on inquiries which focused on trade issues. Since leaving Westminster, he has worked as a consultant to companies on the implications of Brexit. He is reporting to Andrew Opie, the Director of Food Policy at the BRC.


Bain will work on the BRC’s Fair Brexit For Consumers campaign, which is aimed at supporting the Government in ensuring a fair deal for consumers in negotiations with the EU. The BRC’s recently published research advocated a “smart Brexit”. Its Tariff Roadmap made the case for an orderly and sequenced process that prioritises across the board tariff-free arrangements with the EU before securing new trading relationships with the rest of the world. The research found that:


Commenting on the announcement, Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium said: “The retail industry’s biggest priority is to work alongside the Government to secure a fair Brexit for consumers. This means ensuring that ordinary shoppers aren’t hit with the cost of unwanted new tariffs and the UK is able to build new trading relationships with the rest of the world in the long-term. William’s experience and skills will further strengthen the BRC’s voice on crucial trade and regulation issues during a pivotal period of time.”


William Bain said: “The retail industry is at the epicentre of the changes ahead arising from the UK’s transition to a new relationship with the European Union involving some of our biggest markets and industry supply chains. I’m thrilled to be part of the BRC’s pioneering work as the voice of the industry at such an important time for UK businesses and consumers.”


Association News

Ouch! The potential cost of cyber security breaches and GDPR non-compliance. Jenny Parsons, ProTech’s CEO, gives her personal view


If there are any senior executives within NFPs, membership organisations or associations who have yet to be convinced of the threat cyber security breaches pose to us all, they must have had their heads in the sand for a very long time. Surely there isn’t a ‘desert’ anywhere that didn’t receive news of Wannacry and the more recent ransomware cyber security attack, both hitting computers across the world.


The example of Wonga, which in April warned 245,000 of its UK customers and 25,000 customers in Poland that they should be vigilant after a serious data breach, should have been another warning in an ever-increasing list.’s Security Editor, Warwick Ashford wrote that the breach ‘may have exposed personal details’ including some financial information, and that it could be the UK’s biggest data breach to date.


Short-term loan firm Wonga, emphasised that customers’ full card details were not at risk however even incomplete sets of financial data can put affected customers at risk of financial loss, according to some security experts. Should the personal data breach at Wonga be confirmed then the Information Commissioners’ Office (ICO) will take a close look to determine if the company had taken adequate precautions to keep its customer data safe.


Wonga must be slightly concerned that it may suffer the same fate as TalkTalk. Remember the ICO fined TalkTalk a record £400,000 for having failed to apply ‘the most basic cyber security measures’. There is no question that £400,000 is a lot of money, but it pales into significance when compared with the cost of possible fines from noncompliance of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Fines could be as high as €20 million or up to 4% of global turnover. Eye watering sums indeed.


Yet, according to Ben Rossi of Information Age, 1 in 4 UK businesses have cancelled preparations for GDPR. Yes, that’s right cancelled and do you know why? Because they think that Brexit means they will not have to comply with GDPR. That could be a catastrophic mistake. This is even more worrying than senior executives having their head in the sand, as these IT decision makers have looked at GDPR and misunderstood what it means.


GDPR has been talked about since 2012 and is ‘designed to harmonise data protection regulation throughout Europe and provide citizens with more control over their personal data’. Ratified in April 2016, all UK companies have until May 2018 to comply which crucially, is ten months before we exit the EU.


A survey conducted by information management firm, Crown Records Management, across IT decision makers within UK companies, reveals that 24% are no longer preparing for GDPR and 4% have not even begun to prepare for compliance. Bizarrely, 4% believed that GDPR will not apply to UK businesses after Brexit. Once we have exited the EU the UK will no longer be a signatory to the regulation but GDPR will still apply to those organisations which hold or handle the personal information of European citizens.


You only have to think about how many EU citizens currently live and work in the UK and it’s suddenly not hard to imagine how many businesses will need to comply. There is some good news from the survey, seven out of ten businesses with more than 100 employees have already appointed a data protection officer, a requirement of GDPR, 50% have introduced staff training and encouragingly, 72% have reviewed data protection policies.


As an NFP, membership organisation or association ensuring the safety of your members’ data has never been so important. A good place to start is by working with a CRM provider, such as ProTech, who has worked with an independent Government certified (CHECK) organisation and whose specialist CRM and digital solution has been successfully penetration tested to meet the security requirements for Government ‘OFFICIAL’ ( ) security accreditation. From a GDPR perspective ProTech’s digital platform ProWeb, enables our clients’ members to provide informed consent to data collection and processing as part of their registration process.


This ensures that members’ preferences are automatically updated by our specialist CRM software, Pro9, so that our clients only hold and process data where informed consent has been provided. We are also in the process of enhancing Pro9’s data archiving and deletion capabilities to make it easier for our clients to forensically remove data where consent has been withdrawn.


Crucially, Pro9 provides our clients with a ‘subject access request’ workflow which automates the processing of the legal requirement to provide your customer (members) with visibility of all of the data you hold about them, currently within 40 days. Pro9 monitors the number of days within which our clients need to respond to a request and provides a standard format for the response. They have visibility as to whether the legal requirement has been met or whether the request has been escalated and the legal requirement may be breached. Although our clients can delete entire records to comply with a member’s ‘right to be forgotten’, ProTech has worked to ensure the integrity of reports they may run which draw on historical data. Cyber security attacks are increasing and data protection regulations between the UK and Europe are not going to disappear into thin air after Brexit – so make sure you are protected from hugely damaging data breaches and hugely expensive fines resulting from GDPR non-compliance.

Jenny Parsons, ProTech CEO