U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) announced today that the Senate Banking Committee included the Senior $afe Act as part of a bipartisan legislative proposal to improve our nation’s financial regulatory framework.
Senators Collins and McCaskill, the Chairman and former Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee, introduced the Senior $afe Act in January, which would put in place a plan to help protect American seniors from financial exploitation and fraud by providing support to regulators, financial institutions, and legal organizations to educate their employees about how to identify and prevent financial exploitation of older Americans.
“As Chair of the Senate Aging Committee, I have made preventing the financial exploitation of seniors a top priority,” said Senator Collins. “I am pleased that the Banking Committee approved our commonsense plan, based on Maine’s innovative Senior$afe program, which will empower and encourage our financial service representatives to identify warning signs of common scams and help stop financial fraud targeting our seniors.”
According to the Government Accountability Office, financial fraud targeting older Americans is a growing epidemic that costs seniors an estimated $2.9 billion annually. These scams range from the “Jamaican Lottery Scam,” to the IRS impersonation scam, to the financial exploitation of seniors through guardianships.
Current bank privacy laws can make it difficult for financial institutions to report suspected fraud to the proper authorities The Senior$afe Act would address this problem by:
· Encouraging banks, credit unions, investment advisors, broker-dealers, insurance companies and insurance agencies to report suspected senor financial fraud; and
· Protecting these institutions from being sued for making reports so long as they have trained their employees, and make reports in good faith and on a reasonable basis to the proper authorities.
The Senior$afe Act has been endorsed by many stakeholders, including AARP, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU), the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), Tansamerica, and LPL Financial.