American Banker Interviews Manatt Partner on Prevention of Elder Financial Abuse

Bankers, Regulators Work to Prevent Elder Financial Abuse
– American Banker

American Banker interviewed Manatt's Donna Wilson, a partner in the firm's Litigation Division, on the ways regulators and lawmakers are attempting to tackle elderly financial abuse.

American Banker reports that identifying and reporting elderly financial abuse is likely to become a bigger issue as more baby bombers retire. In September, eight federal agencies released guidance stating that financial institutions could report suspected abuse to authorities without violating privacy provisions in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which typically requires financial institutions to notify clients before sharing nonpublic information with third parties.

Under federal regulation, several factors generally determine whether a suspicious activity report for suspected elder abuse must be filed with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, said Wilson. Those factors include the monetary value involved and identification of a suspect.

Generally, regulators expect financial institutions, where appropriate, to incorporate elder abuse red flags into their fraud and identity theft prevention compliance programs, Wilson said.

"The focus on elder financial abuse is the latest step in an evolutionary process by the federal and state regulators to deal with fraud," Wilson said. "You have this glut of baby boomers, who are steadily advancing in age. By many measures they hold a great deal of wealth . . . making them an attractive target."

Many states also have laws that require financial institutions to report suspected abuse, Wilson said.

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