A bill reintroduced in the Senate aims to make it easier for financial companies to report suspected financial exploitation of senior citizens.
Senators Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., introduced the Senior Safe Act of 2017 to combat fraud such as lottery scams, IRS impersonation and exploitation by caretakers, according to a press release from Collins’s office.
The legislation is aimed at protecting financial institutions from legal liability tied to privacy laws when reporting suspected financial abuse of seniors, as long as the firms adequately train their employees, according to the press release.
The bill is based on a Maine program involving cooperation between financial institutions, legal organizations and regulators aimed at educating financial services employees to prevent the potential financial abuse of seniors, according to the press release. That program trained “hundreds” of financial services employees and resulted in more seniors getting help, Jaye Martin, director of Maine’s Legal Services for the Elderly, said at a Senate Aging Committee hearing last year, according to Collins’s press release.
Collins and McCaskill first introduced their bill in October 2015, around the time Finra and the North American Securities Administrators Association introduced similar measures. This summer, the House of Representatives approved the Senior Safe Act. And Finra requested the SEC’s approval in October for a proposal to require financial institutions to make reasonable efforts in finding the contact information for a trusted person on each account. Finra’s proposal would also let firms put temporary holds on suspicious disbursements and alert the trusted person on those accounts.