Financial advisers will need to re-evaluate how they market to potential clients.
As of 25th May 2018, the definition of consent in marketing changes significantly under GDPR. Bluntly put, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to obtain.
GDPR defines consent in the following way:
“Any freely given specific, informed and explicit indication of his or her wishes by which the data subject, either by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to personal data relating to them being processed.”
Breaking it down
In other words, to have validity under GDPR, consent obtained in marketing material must be:
Unbundled (recognisably distinct from other terms and conditions).
An active opt-in (a conscious act, neither an assumption of implied consent nor ticked boxes).
Specific or granular, not generic (applied to separately and distinctly different processes and purposes).
Named (marked with the name of each person relying on consent).
Verifiable (records must show the provision of consent).
Withdrawable (as easy to withdraw as it was to provide).
Refreshed at regular intervals (consent will no longer remain valid indefinitely).
Any financial adviser marketing via SMS, email or any other digital format will need to take heed of these new requirements for consent.
One exception to bear in mind is known as the “soft opt-in,” which clarifies that consent is not necessary if you are sending marketing messages about similar services and products to your clients, provided that:
You make it clear that they can opt out when you receive their contact information.
You allow them the opportunity to opt out when you send further messages.
Do understand, however, that the soft opt-in process is based on “legitimate interests processing” condition of GDPR rather than consent.
Only your business can rely on it, not third parties.
You will almost certainly need to refresh any consent that you have already received in marketing to make sure that it’s fully GDPR-compliant. You must also have a suitable record to prove this.
Then, you can get on with offering clear financial services and other help with money issues.
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