|Organization:||Division of Banks|
|Referenced Sources:||World Elder Abuse Awareness Day June 15|
To the Chief Executive Officer Addressed:
The Division of Banks (Division) is participating in World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. We wish to take the opportunity to encourage financial institutions to continue to train and prepare staff to identify and report elder financial abuse.
Elder financial abuse is the illegal or improper use of an elder’s money by a family member, friend, neighbor, acquaintance or stranger. Individuals over the age of 60 make up the largest growing segment of our population. According to AARP, nearly two-thirds of all deposits are held by people over the age of 50. Therefore, financial institutions and their employees have been and will continue to be integral in the successful detection and prevention of elder financial exploitation.
The Division recommends your financial institution assign a person to report suspected elder financial abuse. By assigning one person responsible for reporting, your institution can reduce the chances of violating consumer confidentiality. We also recommend your institution's front line staff continue to receive training on how to spot elder financial abuse.
Resources from financial regulators and trade associations have been compiled in a list below to help financial institutions enhance your elder financial abuse prevention training program.
- Preventing Elder Financial Exploitation: Employee Training Manual for Financial Institutions an initiative of the Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation, Executive Office of Elder Affairs, and Division of Banks in collaboration with the Office of the Attorney General, Massachusetts Bankers Association, and Cooperative Credit Union Association.
- BankSafe, a free, interactive training initiative of AARP to help financial institutions improve how they serve older Americans by empowering frontline employees to identify elder financial exploitation.
- Suspicious Activity Reports on Elder Financial Exploitation: Issues and Trends a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau highlighting key facts, trends, and patterns revealed in an analysis of 180,000 elder financial exploitation Suspicious Activity Reports filed by banks, credit unions, casinos, and other financial services providers.
- Compliance Toolkit for Combatting Elder Financial Exploitation presented by the Cooperative Credit Union Association. This Compliance Toolkit was been developed to assist member credit unions and stakeholders in combatting elder exploitation.
- Management training resources and brochures offered by the Massachusetts Bankers Association for various levels of bank staff.
We encourage you to explore the above resources to identify and prevent elder financial abuse. Visit the Division’s set of web pages dedicated to the topic that provides helpful information on the signs of elder financial abuse and how to report it. The Division also issued a consumer advisory on this topic.
Mary L. Gallagher
Commissioner of Banks