Escalate privacy notice

Changes have been made to data protection laws which came into effect on Friday 25 May 2018.

We have updated and improved our privacy policy to give you greater protection and clarity about the way we use your data.

This notice explains what personal (information) data we hold about you, how we collect, how we use it and how we may share information about you.

Who we are

We are part of Kent County Council. When we collect and use personal information we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulation which applies across the European Union (including in the United Kingdom) and we are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal information for the purposes of those laws. 

The personal information we collect and use

The Escalate scheme was funded from Regional Growth and provided investment to businesses across Kent and Medway. The scheme offered 0% loans and equity funding to small and medium sized businesses to create new jobs and growth within the Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge & Malling and Tunbridge Wells local authority areas. Loans were used to develop new or expand products, services, or processes, where they led to new jobs, deliver business growth and improve productivity.

To enable us to administer these schemes, KCC hold the following details about your business, its officers and your employees:

  • your name, postal address and contact details (email and telephone number), including personal information you provided to KCC when you applied for a loan, (such as: your passport, driving licence, official tax notification, council tax bill, utility bill, bank or building society statement, credit card statement, company accounts, self employed accounts)
  • the names and addresses of your employees, including personal information, you provide to KCC during the monitoring period of your loan to support evidencing of job creation (such as contracts of employment, offers of employment, pay slips and payroll reports)
  • we also collect, anonymously, sensitive personal data such as gender, age, ethnic origin, health, religion and sexuality as part of our Equality Impact Assessment monitoring.

We also obtain with your written consent information from:

  • mortgage and finance companies who have a charge secured on property owned by you if you have offered that property as security of a KCC loan.

We are required by law to check the identity of our loan applicants. This makes it more difficult for criminals to use financial systems, or to use false names and addresses, or to steal the identities of innocent people. Checking identity is an important way of preventing money laundering and other criminal activities To enable us to meet this obligation we will require you to provide certain documents (such as: your passport, driving licence, official tax notification, council tax bill, utility bill, bank or building society statement, credit card statement, company accounts, self employed accounts) to confirm your name and address.

KCC uses your personal information to consider your application to open, maintain and manage your account file and to deal with enquiries you may make or authorise. We collect this information from you directly, from third parties, such as banks or building societies or other financial institutions and your legal representative when authorised to act on your behalf, or from other organisations such as credit reference agencies. When we ask you for this information we explain to you what we need it for and how we plan to use it.

Reasons we can collect and use your personal information

We rely on the following Article 6 clauses as the lawful basis on which we collect and use your personal information.

(a) We need this information prior to entering into the loan contract and to monitor the performance of the loan contract to which the data subject is party to, in order to take steps.

(b) The application and monitoring process is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject to.

The provision of personal information is required from you to enable us to progress your loan application.

You (the data subject) have given consent to the processing of your personal/business data for the purpose of assessing your loan agreement, and its accompanying documents.

You may withdraw your consent at any time. If you do withdraw your consent no further personal information will be collected and the existing personal information shall only be retained in accordance with KCC’s data protection policy. If you do not provide the information or withdraw your consent your loan application will not be able to be considered.

Risk assessment

All applications for a KCC loan awarded under the Escalate scheme will be subject to a risk assessment, carried out by an accounting firm (external third party), that will form part of any decision.

Credit checking and fraud prevention

When you apply for a KCC loan and where we believe there may have been a change in your circumstances, we may use the information you give us to assess any business risk by obtaining credit references or to check against information held by The Insolvency Service.

Keeping your personal information secure

We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost or used or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to your personal information to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.

Who we share your personal information with

We share information within KCC about you for all purposes necessary for processing your application with and for:

  • making lending decisions
  • assisting in verifying your identity
  • assessing risks
  • legal compliance
  • preventing or detecting financial crime.

With other organisations

KCC may disclose your information to other people or organisations if any of the following applies:

  • we have your consent
  • Invicta Law Limited for the purposes of them providing services on behalf of KCC in the production of legal agreements and associated documents in accordance with a loan administered by the Escalate fund
  • credit reference agencies for verifying information you have given us for example verifying your income when assessing you for a loan.

We will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required to do so by applicable law.

How long your personal data will be kept

If your application is successful, we will hold your personal information for 10 years from the date of loan for us to comply with any statutory or legal obligations or for audit purposes. It will be stored securely.

If your application is unsuccessful, we will hold your personal information for 6 years when it will be securely destroyed.

Your rights

Under the General Data Protection Regulation, you have rights which you can exercise free of charge that allow you to:

  • withdraw your consent at any time where we have relied upon consent
  • know what we are doing with your information and why we are doing it
  • ask to see what information we hold about you
  • ask us to correct any mistakes in the information we hold about you
  • object to direct marketing
  • make a complaint to the Information Commissioners Office.

Depending on our reason for using your information you may also be entitled to:

  • ask us to delete information we hold about you
  • have your information transferred electronically to yourself or to another organisation
  • object to decisions being made that significantly affect you
  • object to how we are using your information
  • stop us using your information in certain ways.

We will always seek to comply with your request but we may be required to hold or use your information to comply with legal duties. Please note that your request may delay or prevent us from considering your application for a loan.

Who to contact

Please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at data.protection@kent.gov.uk to exercise any of your rights, or if you have a complaint about why your information has been collected, how it has been used or how long we have kept it for.

You can contact our Data Protection Officer, Benjamin Watts, at dpo@kent.gov.uk or by writing to the Data Protection Officer, Sessions House, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1XQ.

For further information about your rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, see the guidance from the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) on individuals’ rights under the General Data Protection Regulation.

The General Data Protection Regulation also gives you right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority. The supervisory authority in the UK is the Information Commissioner who may be contacted at 03031 231113.

Read our corporate privacy statement.