League Supports Bill to Protect Seniors from Financial Exploitation

On February 28, the League, testified before the Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance, and Financial Services in support of L.D. 566, “An Act to Protect Vulnerable Adults from Financial Exploitation.”

The bill would require that broker-dealers and investment advisers report instances of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult to the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Office of Securities and the Department of Health and Human Services. In the case of suspicions of exploitation, the bill would also provide advisers with the ability to delay disbursements, to refrain from disclosing information to the party suspected of exploitation, and to disclose information to a previously designated party.

Our testimony highlighted what credit unions and the League have done to protect our vulnerable members – including our work with Senior$afe, a training program which helps staff at financial institutions recognize the signs of elder financial abuse.

“Financial exploitation of seniors is becoming a frightening epidemic in this country. Maine needs policies like L.D. 566 to better protect Maine’s elder population. Raising awareness about this issue and providing a path for reporting abuse is critical for prevention. Ignoring this problem won’t make it go away; it will just put more vulnerable people at risk.”

At a work session on March 5, the committee voted the bill “ought to pass.” The legislation now moves to the full House and Senate for consideration.