The WMA is set to welcome a host of experts to discuss the ever present threat of cybercrime

Cybersecurity WMA

The WMA’s annual Financial Crime Conference will tackle the issues with cutting-edge discussion 

Cybercrime has dominated the news throughout the year and is a threat to which no-one is immune. Cybercrime has become one of the major issues of the modern age and companies and institutions are finding themselves ever more hard-pressed to contend with the threat in order to keep citizens and customers safe.

The WMA recognises the huge importance of tackling this issue, both for its member firms and their clients. Liz Field, Chief Executive of WMA said: “Cybercrime is of particular interest to financial organisations, not only because they manage clients’ assets, but also because they hold large volumes of sensitive client data. The misappropriation of such data can lead not only to direct financial loss and severe reputational damage for companies.

According to the ONS annual crime report there were 2.5 million cybercrime offences directly affecting individuals between May and August 2015, an average of 625,000 a month. The report highlighted the fact that more than 20 per cent of all cybercrime victims incurred a loss a higher than £5001. Another 37 per cent of people who were victims of cybercrime suffered losses ranging from between £100 to £500. These numbers highlight the increasing personal and financial damages cybercrime presents to individuals, and the need to adopt effect counter-cybercrime measures. Liz concluded:

“As an industry, finance faces considerable losses from cybercrime as there have always been significant potential financial gains to be had and valuable sensitive information to be stolen.”

Indeed there is still a long way to go when it comes to spreading cybercrime awareness in the industry, with only 41 per cent [1] of industry respondents to recent PWC study believing they may experience any form of cybercrime in the next 24 months.

A PWC survey shows that cybercrime is the second most common type of economic crime reported by financial services (after asset misappropriation)1. The WMA is in many respects ahead of the curve with regards to cybercrime and has acknowledged the potential threat that cybercrime poses to the wealth management industry. It has proceeded to educate its members on the potential threats while working with the National Crime Agency to ensure best practice. Our annual financial crime conference will be held on Jan 28th at the Guildhall in London. Not only will the conference provide a live “mock hack” from ethical hacker Mustafa Al-Bassam, it will also share the knowledge of security experts such as Mike Betts, Detective Inspector from the City of London Police, in cutting-edge discussion. It will further contribute to spreading awareness within the industry and making cybercrime a top priority, with the aim of creating an environment in which a culture of savings and investment can thrive safely.

About the Wealth Management Association (WMA) 

  • The Wealth Management Association (WMA) is a trade association that represents 186 wealth management firms (full members) and associate members who provide professional services to our full members.
  •  WMA members firms look after over £670 billion of wealth for over 4 million retail investors.
  • WMA full members deal in stocks, shares and other financial instruments for individuals, trusts and charities through a range of services spanning execution only, advisory and discretionary fund management.
  • The WMA exists to support its members and their clients in the following ways:
  1. To be an advocate for the sector with governments, regulators and the wider financial services community; 
  2. To influence policy and also decision makers within the wider sector to the benefit of WMA members and their clients;
  3. To research and provide definitive information about the sector as required for members and in support of the influencing and advocacy objectives;
  4. To be a thought leader, to lead and stimulate debate and make members aware of emerging trends; challenging and provoking change.
  5. Facilitating the sharing of good practice, enabling the membership as a whole to benefit from the latest developments affecting the sector as well as providing support to enable them to develop good prescribe and overcome challenges.
  • WMA firms operate across more than 580 sites, employing over 32 000 staff.
  • These firms also run over 5.5 million client portfolios and carry out over 20 million trades a year.