Concerns Over Financial Abuse of the Elderly Create Opportunities for Industry and Regulators to Collaborate

By: Jigar Gandhi

As the American population ages, senior investors are increasingly becoming victims of financial fraud. It is estimated that elder financial abuse costs victims approximately $2.9 billion a year. As the percentage of senior Americans will nearly double over the next 15 years, it is very apparent that financial abuse of the elderly is a growing problem. To that end, FSI and state regulators have taken several steps to educate and assist investors.

To help our members address this industry-wide concern, FSI created a one-stop online webpage with helpful resources to educate FSI members and other interested individuals on the issues surrounding elder financial abuse. FSI received valuable input from FSI members and state regulators, allowing us to launch the online resource center. The resource center provides reporting information for all 50 states as well as applicable state statutes and definitions.

In addition, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) recently formed an advisory council to help inform the association’s recently formed Board-level Committee on Senior Issues and Diminished Capacity. The committee is chaired by Montana Deputy Securities Commissioner Lynne Egan. NASAA invited FSI to play a role on the advisory council and FSI member Nancy Heffner, director of compliance at FSI member firm Lincoln Investment, will represent FSI on the council.

Furthermore, in early September, NASAA covered the issue extensively at their Annual Conference in Indianapolis. The conference included a dedicated session with industry experts and state regulators discussing financial abuse of the elderly and the steps being taken by both regulators and the industry to protect investors.

FSI is looking forward to collaborating further with NASAA and federal regulators on this pervasive problem.

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