IMCA Reviews Regulatory Focus on Financial Exploitation of Seniors

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Legislative Intelligence delves into recent proposals that ultimately could discourage firms from helping seniors

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Since the early 2000s, state and federal regulators have focused on initiatives to enhance senior protection in part by policing abusive industry sales practices. Now, regulators are shifting their focus and asking financial advisors to help identify and avert senior fraud, according to IMCA’s February 2016 Legislative Intelligence.

This month’s Legislative Intelligence summarizes recent senior protection policy initiatives that would encourage a proactive role by the financial services industry. The proposals ultimately would call on firms to report financial exploitation of vulnerable seniors, place holds on suspicious transactions or disbursements, and provide immunity from lawsuits for these actions. While the proposed rules are well-intentioned, questions remain about whether state and federal rules are coordinated well enough to avoid confusion due to uncertainty over non-uniform rules, according to Legislative Intelligence.

Some of the non-uniform provisions include defining a senior as age 60 or 65 and older, making reporting by firms mandatory or voluntary, and differing in the maximum number of days a firm can stop disbursements of client funds for suspicious activity. In addition, under the congressional legislation, banks, credit unions, broker–dealers, and investment advisory firms are eligible for immunity, while the state or broker-dealer rules would limit immunity to the securities industry.

The future of the proposals remains uncertain. Stand-alone bills rarely are approved by Congress, and the state model rule likely will take years to be adopted nationwide. The result could be patchwork requirements state-by-state, at least in the next couple of years. Regulators may be focused on engaging firms at the moment, but they have not forgotten enforcement. The top 2016 exam priorities for FINRA and the SEC include reviewing investment advice to investors with retirement accounts, to seniors, and to other vulnerable investors. See IMCA’s January 2016 Legislative Intelligence report for details.

Click here to read the entire report on the recent regulatory focus on financial exploitation of seniors.

Contact: Ryan Hoffman, Communications Director. P: 303.850.3079 E-mail: rhoffman(at)imca(dot)org. Twitter:@IMCA

About IMCA
Established in 1985, Investment Management Consultants Association® (IMCA®) is a nonprofit professional association and credentialing organization with more than 10,000 individual members and certificants worldwide. IMCA members collectively manage more than $2.477 trillion, providing investment consulting and wealth management services to individual and institutional clients. Since 1988, IMCA has offered the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) certification, which earned accreditation by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in April 2011, making it the first financial services credential in the United States to meet international standards (ISO 17024) for personnel certification. IMCA’s Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) certification is suited for wealth management professionals working with high-net-worth clients. In 2015, IMCA conferences and workshops hosted more than 4,000 attendees.

IMCA® and Investment Management Consultants Association® are registered trademarks of Investment Management Consultants Association Inc. CIMA®, Certified Investment Management Analyst®, CIMC®, CPWA®, and Certified Private Wealth Advisor® are registered certification marks of Investment Management Consultants Association Inc. Investment Management Consultants Association Inc. does not discriminate in educational opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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Ryan Hoffman
Investment Management Consultants Association
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