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Senior$afe Important Step to Foil Elder Financial Abuse
Wednesday, July 6, 2016 6:45 AM

The Senior$afe Act of 2015 is an important step toward improving the protection of seniors from financial abuse, CUNA wrote to the House of Representatives Tuesday. CUNA strongly supports H.R. 4538’s goal to help seniors avoid financial exploitation and to encourage responsible decisions regarding financial management.

The bill, expected to be considered this week, would provide legal immunity for properly trained financial services employees who disclose concerns about financial exploitation of senior citizens.

“The member-owner relationship between the credit union and its members puts credit union employees in a key position to detect suspicious activity around senior accounts because oftentimes the employees know the members well,” CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote. “However, in some cases certain privacy laws make it difficult and sometimes even impossible, for employees to ring the alarm bell when exploitation is suspected.”

Credit unions also provide resources such as financial management, retirement planning, credit counseling, and elder financial abuse information.

In June, the House Financial Services Committee voted 59-0 in favor of the CUNA-supported bill, introduced by Reps. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine).  Senate version of the bill was introduced by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in March. CUNA has written in support of that bill, which has been referred to the Senate Banking Committee.