SIFMA’s Bentsen Delivers Remarks on Elder Financial Exploitation at EJCC Event

Release Date: April 27, 2016
Contact: Carol Danko, 202-962-7390, [email protected] 

SIFMA’s Bentsen Delivers Remarks on Elder Financial Exploitation at EJCC Event

Washington, DC, April 27, 2016 – SIFMA president and CEO Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr., delivered remarks today on the financial services industry’s role in combatting elder financial exploitation at an event hosted by the Elder Justice Coordinating Council in Dirksen Senate Office Building.  An excerpt is as follows with full remarks found here: 

“An estimated 55 percent of financial abuse in the U.S. is committed by family members, caregivers, and friends.”  

“According to a MetLife study, seniors lose at least $2.9 billion  annually – in reported cases of financial exploitation – and the National Adult Protective Services Association believes that only 1 in 44 cases of exploitation is ever reported. It has been estimated that about 1 in 5 Americans aged 65 or older  have been victimized by financial fraud.  Beyond exploitation, with our aging population and increased life expectancy, we face greater risks of cognitive decline.”

“As a result of these growing threats to the financial well-being of our senior clients, the financial services industry has been working for many years – even before the first of the baby boomers began to age into retirement – to develop tools and training materials to combat senior financial exploitation and address the concerns of cognitive decline.” 

“We are working with state and federal policymakers, regulators and advocates, to enact effective ‘Report & Hold’ laws that allow advisors to report suspicious transactions to the appropriate state agencies and temporarily hold those transactions to allow the agencies to investigate the situation and stop exploitative transactions before they occur.” 

“We are also seeking to advance proposals that would allow firms to provide relevant records to agencies investigating financial exploitation without fear of violating privacy laws, as well as the ability to reach out to trusted third parties if concerns arise.”

“As an industry, we are collaborating to share scenarios and practices, identify problems and develop or perfect workable solutions.”

“We also believe Congress has a role to play and we welcome the leadership of Senators Susan Collins and Claire McCaskill and Representatives Kyrsten Sinema and Bruce Poliquin for introducing the Senior$afe Act. This important bipartisan, bicameral legislation will allow firms to disclose cases of potential senior financial exploitation without the fear of legal ramifications. We urge the Congress to swiftly move this bill forward, so that it may become law.”