Most (82 percent) of the UK's small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) have not heard of or are unsure about the impact of the EU's new data protection regulation, GDPR, which is taking effect in under two years.

Close Brothers' quarterly survey of UK SME owners and senior management from various sectors discovered that only four percent say they understand the legislation and are clear about the effect GDPR will have on their business. A further 14 percent will need to take additional advice. The survey evaluated 850 SME owners from the UK and across several industries.

The results show a lack of understanding at all levels and across all sectors according to Ian McVicar, managing director at Close Brothers Technology Services. “We would like businesses to think positively about GDPR and understand how it can benefit both them and their customers.”

“We see a key part of our role as helping businesses make informed decisions around issues like how to prepare for GDPR,” said Sean Callanan, director of technology services at Close Brothers. “We'll work in partnership with businesses and guide them towards what technology they really need to invest in to be prepared and compliant.”