Washington, D.C. —U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) announced today that the Senate Banking Committee included the Senior $afe Act as part of a bipartisan legislative proposal to improve our nation’s financial regulatory framework.
Senators Collins and McCaskill, the Chairman and former Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee, introduced the Senior $afe Act in January, which would put in place a plan to help protect American seniors from financial exploitation and fraud by providing support to regulators, financial institutions, and legal organizations to educate their employees about how to identify and prevent financial exploitation of older Americans.
“As Chair of the Senate Aging Committee, I have made preventing the financial exploitation of seniors a top priority,” said Senator Collins. “I am pleased that the Banking Committee approved our commonsense plan, based on Maine’s innovative Senior$afe program, which will empower and encourage our financial service representatives to identify warning signs of common scams and help stop financial fraud targeting our seniors.”
“The unfortunate fact is that our seniors are particularly vulnerable to exploitation,” said Senator McCaskill, a former courtroom prosecutor. “Giving financial processionals – the folks in the best position to identify signs of fraud or abuse—the tools to safely and securely protect seniors’ life savings is the commonsense thing to do, and I’m glad our bipartisan plan to do it is one step closer to becoming law.”
According to the Government Accountability Office, financial fraud targeting older Americans is a growing epidemic that costs seniors an estimated $2.9 billion annually. These scams range from the “Jamaican Lottery Scam,” to the IRS impersonation scam, to the financial exploitation of seniors through guardianships.
Current bank privacy laws can make it difficult for financial institutions to report suspected fraud to the proper authorities The Senior$afe Act would address this problem by:
- Encouraging banks, credit unions, investment advisors, broker-dealers, insurance companies and insurance agencies to report suspected senor financial fraud; and
- Protecting these institutions from being sued for making reports so long as they have trained their employees, and make reports in good faith and on a reasonable basis to the proper authorities.
The Senior$afe Act has been endorsed by many stakeholders, including AARP, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU), the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), Tansamerica, and LPL Financial.
Additional cosponsors of the Senior$afe Act of 2017 include: Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. John Boozman (R-AR), Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Sen. Robert Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Sen. Christopher Coons (D-DE), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sen. Angus King, Jr. (I-ME), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)