The House of Representatives has unanimously approved the so-called Senior Safe Act, which grants immunity to financial services professionals and institutions who report suspected financial exploitation of seniors, according to the House Congressional Record.
The current bill also stipulates that advisors who frequently work with seniors should receive training on spotting and reporting suspected abuse as well as on privacy considerations, according to the House record.
Advisors who have received training would not be liable under civil or administrative proceedings as long as they report suspected fraud with “reasonable care” and avoid disclosure to anyone other than the agency responsible for taking up the issue, including law enforcement, federal securities regulators, the Securities and Exchange Commission, state or local adult protective services agencies and state attorney generals, according to the record.
The legislation follows previous provisions introduced by senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) last October, which came out around the time the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the North American Securities Administrators Association introduced similar measures to protect advisors, as reported previously. Last month, the House Financial Services Committee unanimously approved a measure submitted by Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., as one of 12 bills designed to bring regulatory relief in the financial industry, as reported previously.
Scott Garrett, R-N.J., pointed out that one in five Americans over the age of 65 has been a victim of fraud, which collectively amounts to almost $2.9 billion each year, according to the record of the vote.