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CFPB Report Highlights Problems Older Americans have with Confusion Financial Advising Industry
Monday, April 22, 2013 6:45 AM

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has published a report highlighting problems with so-called “senior designation” credentials that many financial advisers use to market their services to older Americans. The Bureau found that there are more than 50 different senior designations that financial advisers use to indicate that they have advanced training or expertise in the financial needs of older consumers. These designations can confuse older consumers, who are already at risk for deception and fraud. 

The report highlights the challenges that the nation’s 50 million seniors face in navigating the complex world of financial advice and services. Older consumers have unique vulnerabilities, and are often the targets of fraud. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act directed the CFPB’s Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans (Office for Older Americans) to make recommendations to help older consumers identify the most appropriate financial adviser and verify a financial adviser’s credentials.  

The report, entitled “Senior Designations for Financial Advisers: Reducing Consumer Confusion and Risks,” includes recommendations to Congress and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Because many financial advisers holding senior designations are regulated by state securities and insurance regulators, the Bureau offers recommendations for their consideration as well.  

The complete report on senior designations is available at: