Finra has submitted a proposal for SEC approval on amendments to help prevent the financial exploitation of seniors and other vulnerable adults.
The industry’s self-regulator wants to require financial institutions to “make reasonable efforts” in getting contact information for a trusted person for each customer’s account, Finra says in a press release. In addition, the rule would let companies put temporary holds on suspicious disbursements and alert the trusted contact about the hold. The regulator’s current rules don’t explicitly let firms contact non-account holders nor place temporary holds, Finra says in the press release.
The regulator plans to add space for trusted contact information on its new account application templates, which brokerage firms can use on a voluntary basis.
Finra’s board first approved a rule to let advisors put temporary blocks on suspicious transactions more than a year ago, as reported previously. At the time, it also proposed requiring firms to acquire a trusted person’s contact information.
Finra has also been running a helpline for seniors since April 2015, gathering information on what companies do when they suspect exploitation of senior customers, according to the press release.
Finra’s submission of the rule to the SEC comes a little over three months after the House of Representatives approved legislation to grant immunity to advisors and companies reporting financial exploitation of seniors, as reported previously. The issue hasn’t only attracted attention from regulators. The financial abuse of elderly clients was cited as a major concern by 82% of advisors in a survey released in March, as reported previously.