LPL Advocates for Protecting Senior Investors
It’s estimated that one in five Americans over the age of 65 has been victimized by financial fraud resulting in millions of dollars stolen each year. Senior investors are especially at risk for financial fraud or exploitation because of diminished capacity, isolation, disability, health problems, and bereavement. This is a critical issue, and protecting senior investors is a top priority for LPL.
LPL strongly supports requirements and guidance that enhance the protection of senior investors and provide firms with tools that may help firms protect these investors. These tools include temporary holds on suspicious transactions to allow time for investigation, permission to contact a person trusted by the investor or a family member when concerns arise, support for the reporting of suspected abuse or exploitation to authorities, and immunity for such actions.
Senior $afe Act – A Huge Step Forward
On May 24, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Senior $afe Act. This legislation will provide support to regulators, financial institutions, and legal organizations to educate their employees about how to identify and prevent financial exploitation of older Americans.
“We worked very closely with the bill’s sponsors in the House and Senate to raise awareness of this important issue and maintain the momentum to get this Act passed. We were involved in the crafting of this bill and are pleased to have contributed ideas to strengthen the final legislation,” said Peggy Ho, executive vice president, LPL Government Relations.
The Senior $afe Act is based on a program started by the North American Securities Administrators Association in Maine. This new federal law requires firms such as LPL to train employees to detect and report exploitation of senior investors. The bill also provides immunity to those disclosing the possible exploitation of a senior investor to law enforcement or an agency, if they have received training. LPL already requires annual training for advisors and employees on issues unique to senior investors, as well as guidance on how to identify, report, and help prevent financial exploitation of senior clients.
Congressman Bruce Poliquin, one of the sponsors of the bill, said, “Thanks to this bipartisan legislation, financial advisors, and bank tellers who are often on the frontline of these financial fraud cases, can report the abuse and act quickly to stop it. Along with the leadership of my colleague Senator Susan Collins, I'm very pleased we are getting this important bill to the President's desk."
LPL’s advocacy on this issue is not limited to the federal level. LPL has also worked for many years in concert with state regulators to raise awareness and sponsor training on the topic. In particular, LPL has partnered with many state securities divisions to provide Senior$afe training (a program designed to help state regulators train financial advisors in identifying and reporting suspected elder financial abuse) to financial advisors.
LPL is proud to have been part of this effort and remain committed to supporting requirements and guidance that enhance the protection of senior investors and provide firms with tools they need to protect the most vulnerable.
LPL’s Senior Investor Protection group investigates cases where there is suspected exploitation or abuse of a senior investor or vulnerable adult and reports them to state authorities and Adult Protective Services. For more information, contact Senior Investor Protection at SeniorInvestorProtection@lpl.com.
For more information about LPL advocacy efforts, please visit our Government Relations page.