Removing Barriers Blog

CFPB updates advisory on elder financial exploitation
Posted July 17, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

The CFPB issued an updated advisory for financial institutions on best practices for financial institutions when suspecting elder financial exploitation.  

The Bureau’s recommendations, first issued in 2016, provided six categories of “voluntary best practices” to assist financial institutions to prevent elder financial abuse. These best practices “include:

  1. Developing and implementing internal protocols and procedures for protecting account holders from elder financial exploitation;
  2. Training management and staff to prevent, detect, and respond to suspicious events
  3. Detecting elder financial exploitation by harnessing technology;
  4. Reporting all cases of suspected exploitation to relevant federal, state and local authorities;
  5. Protecting older account holders by complying with the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) and Regulation E and by offering age-friendly services that can enhance protections against financial exploitation;
  6. Collaborating with other stakeholders such as law enforcement, adult protective services, and service organizations.”

The update focused on Best Practice #4 – the reporting of suspected elder financial abuse to appropriate local, state or federal first responders. The Bureau also recommended that financial institutions file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) with the federal government when they suspect elder financial exploitation (EFE). 

As of April 2019, 26 states plus the District of Columbia mandate reporting of suspected EFE by financial institutions or specified financial professionals.