H.R. 2255 legislation was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation includes The Senior Safe Act, which is intended to address elder financial abuse.
The Senior Safe Act is part of a larger bill that would reform regulation of credit unions, community banks, and small regional banks, and was designed to improve the abilities of companies to work with regulators to protect the elderly, as recently reported in Think Advisor’s article, “House Passes Senior Safe Act.”
H.R. 3758 is companion legislation to S. 223, which was passed by the Senate Banking Committee. This piece of legislation encourages financial services firms to provide appropriate training to front-line employees and producers. At the same time, the bill also grants immunity to those who report suspected abuse to regulators and law enforcement authorities.
The Act’s provisions, previously introduced by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), exempt financial institutions and some of their employees from liability in any civil or administrative proceeding, when those employees report the potential exploitation of a senior citizen to a governmental agency, provided the institution has conducted training and the report is made in good faith.
Dirk Kempthorne, president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers, said in a statement that the Senior Safe Act “facilitates improved communication between insurance producers, life insurance companies and regulators in the event of suspected financial exploitation of senior citizens.”
“By encouraging the reporting of suspected fraud, the Senior Safe Act improves the ability of companies to work with regulators to protect seniors from losing their retirement savings,” said Kempthorne.
Paul Schott Stevens, president and CEO of the Investment Company Institute, said in a statement that the “vital legislation will establish a federal protection for financial institutions that act in good faith and with reasonable care to disclose the suspected exploitation of senior citizens" to a regulator or law-enforcement agency.
“While many states already shield financial institutions from liability when they disclose suspected elder financial abuse, this bill will provide such protection to all financial institutions, including all mutual fund transfer agents,” Stevens said.
The full Senate is being asked to pass the legislation by the ICI and ACLI, so that it can be sent to the Oval Office and be signed into law.
Reference: Think Advisor (January 29, 2018) “House Passes Senior Safe Act”