Last Tuesday, FSI co-hosted a successful training event with the Alabama Securities Commission and FSI Member, ProEquities Inc. in Birmingham, AL.
On July 1, Alabama’s Protection of Vulnerable Adults from Financial Exploitation Act went into effect. The Act requires individuals to report instances of actual or suspected financial exploitation to both the Alabama Securities Commission and the Alabama Department of Human Resources. The Act’s mandatory reporting requirement applies to agents, investment adviser representatives and persons who serve in a supervisory, compliance, legal or member capacity of a broker-dealer or investment advisor.
The training led by the Alabama Securities Commission, focused on key aspects of the Act, such as:
- Who are qualified individuals that must follow the mandatory reporting requirement,
- Who are the vulnerable adults that the Act is aimed at protecting,
- What is a reasonable belief,
- What is financial exploitation,
- What form must be filled out to notify both the Alabama Securities Commission and the Alabama Department of Human Resources,
- How can a firm delay a disbursement, and
- What immunity provisions are provided in the Act.
A copy of the PowerPoint can be found here. Additionally a video recording of the event will be made available at a later date.
The Alabama Securities Commission also released guidance to help firms create internal protocols to better comply with the Act. Some key tips from the guidance, tells firms to:
- Develop and regularly review training programs designed to educate employees to recognize signs of diminished capacity and financial exploitation.
- Provide training to frontline employees on how to ask appropriate questions regarding potential cognitive decline while still maintaining a client’s sense of autonomy and dignity.
- Provide employees with informational materials detailing the signs of diminished capacity and financial exploitation.
- Develop clear, detailed escalation procedures, establishing direct lines of communication to ensure proper reporting.
- Develop communication strategies to engage customers and clients on issues related to advanced planning, including the implementation of advanced directives.
- Carefully monitor the timing of delayed disbursements to ensure that funds are not withheld longer than is permissible.
As of July 2016, five other states have already enacted laws targeting elder abuse: Missouri, Washington, Delaware, Vermont and Indiana.
FSI is committed the prevention of elder abuse and has made it one of our top advocacy priorities. FSI will continue to work with state regulators on this important issue.