In cooperation with the NC Bankers Association, the League hosted a training summit on elder financial exploitation earlier this week at the Local Government Federal Credit Union’s Conference Center in Raleigh. More than 80 attendees from community banks and credit unions around the state heard from a experts on a range of topics related to elder financial abuse.
“This is certainly a timely topic,” commented John Radebaugh, the League’s President and CEO in his opening remarks to the attendees noting that just last month, federal regulatory agencies issued joint guidance to clarify that the privacy provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act allows financial institutions to report suspected elder financial abuse to appropriate authorities.
In a subsequent Letter to Credit Unions, NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz strongly encourages credit unions to train staff on spotting cases in which older members are victims of financial abuse or exploitation. Furthermore, credit unions should also be sure there are policies and procedures in place to allow reporting of these cases.
The opening panel discussion featured a breakdown of the new reporting requirements under North Carolina law as well as best practices from credit unions and community banks on implementation. Come December 1, 2013, the new law requires all financial institutions to report to appropriate authorities (local law enforcement and Adult Protective Services) cases where there is reasonable cause to believe a disabled adult over 18 years of age, or older adult 65 or above, is the victim or target of financial exploitation. The law ensures that no financial institution officer or employee who acts in good faith when making a report may be held liable. Additionally, financial institutions are encouraged, but not required, to offer older adult and disabled adult customers the opportunity to submit a list of trusted individuals to be contacted in case of financial exploitation.
Attendees were reminded of the reporting framework for Adult Protective Services in cases outside of financial exploitation like elder abuse and neglect. A new special prosecution program for financial exploitation crimes was discussed by the Conference of District Attorneys. Common elder scams were also addressed by two representatives from the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s office as well as a special agent with the SBI’s Financial Crimes Investigation Unit. The day-long summit ended with a “train the trainer” session by Senior Program Analyst, Jenefer Duane of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on the Money Smart for Older Adults training and education program.
Resources on Elder Financial Exploitation
To get consumer protection help or file a complaint about a scam targeting seniors, contact the Attorney General’s Office toll-free within North Carolina at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or online here. You can download a copy of the Attorney General’s guide to common elder scams & fraud here.
To find contact information on local Adult Protective Services agencies to report cases of elder financial exploitation, abuse or neglect, click here.
The Money Smart for Older Adults program consists of a scripted instructor guide, participant/resource guide and power point slides available in a downloadable format and free of charge on the FDIC website here. For hard copies of the participant/resource guide, please visit the CFPB website here.