Protecting Senior Investors: Regulatory Cooperation After Reports

By Michael Williford, Fall 2016 Student Intern

Over the course of the week, I’ve addressed four of the five major recommendations of NASAA’s practices and policies guide for combatting senior financial exploitation. In order to effectively take on financial scammers bent on exploiting seniors, NASAA’s final, and perhaps most important, recommendation to financial services firms includes a larger policy recommendation directed at communication between stakeholders in the financial services and regulatory enforcement agencies.

Because financial exploitation cuts across financial, law enforcement, and legal subject areas, cooperation between private sector financial services firms, the larger security industry regulatory authorities, and state law enforcement agencies is critical. Part of any cooperative scheme to reduce financial exploitation of seniors, according to NASAA, must include the sharing of information between private securities firms, adult protective services agencies (APS), and law enforcement.

Specifically, NASAA recommends that private firms, the entities best positioned to spot the red flags associated with financial exploitation, share access to financial records with state agencies so that perpetrators of this kind of fraud can be stopped. Frequently, NASAA says, private firms make the initial report to state agencies, but are not forthcoming when the state makes follow up requests for documents that are required to put together the case necessary to punish the bad actors. Because of the urgent nature of financial exploitation, clear channels of communication are necessary to effectively addressing exploitation in time to prevent the damage done to senior citizens when no one is looking out for their interests. To learn more about NASAA, its mission, and who to contact if you think a senior citizen may have been the victim of financial exploitation, visit http://www.nasaa.org/. To view the full report, click here.