Addressing the problem of elder financial abuse... 

Finding Solutions for Elder Financial Abuse

By Nithya Iyer


On Tuesday 26 September 2017, the Financial Services Council (FSC) hosted the FSC Elder Financial Abuse Roundtable in Sydney.

The event, organised by the FSC Elder Financial Abuse Working Group, welcomed input from a range of organisations alongside FSC members to discuss possible next steps by the financial services industry in addressing the ongoing problem of elder financial abuse.

Participants included Anne McGowan, CEO of Protecting Seniors Wealth; Diana Ennis, Senior Manager of the External Dispute Resolutions Team at Financial Ombudsman Service Australia; Phil Anderson, General Manager Policy and Professionalism at the Association of Financial Advisers and Dimitri Diamantes from Financial Planners Association of Australia.

The Australian Bankers Association also provided input into the discussion.

The event came after recent developments surrounding elder financial abuse in Australia.

Earlier this year, the Australian Law Reform Commission published a set of recommendations directed at possible legislative and industry responses to address the incidence of elder financial abuse.

Several of these recommendations specifically targeted the problem of elder financial abuse, including calls for the Code of Banking Practice to provide that banks will take reasonable steps to prevent the financial abuse of vulnerable customers. Relevant protections within superannuation were also earmarked for review.

The FSC is aware of the potential exposure to elder financial abuse among financial services institutions and is committed to exploring protective measures which can be adopted.

The roundtable event provided an opportunity to initiate conversations regarding what these measures might look like and how the industry could best respond in the medium-term prior to clarity of legislation.

To read the full communique and detailed issues discussed at the roundtable, please click here.

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