reports. EFE may violate a state’s criminal laws, which could trigger further
state reporting requirements. Almost all states provide immunity for good
faith reporting of EFE, and financial institutions normally do not need proof
that actual EFE has occurred before filing reports. There are also states that
require financial institutions to conduct EFE training for their employees
and to establish written policies for reporting EFE. Clearly, filing EFE SARs
is a good start, but not enough to ensure compliance with all laws.
Current examples show the wide range of state EFE mandates:
■ ■ ■ Delaware: Financial institution employees who have direct contact with
the elderly person are mandated reporters; and a bank must establish
internal written policies, programs, plans or procedures for reporting EFE.
■ ■ ■ Nevada: Officers and employees of financial institutions are mandated
reporters; each institution must designate a person or persons to whom
an officer or employee must report known or suspected EFE; and each
institution must provide EFE training to officers and employees.
■ ■ ■ North Carolina: Financial institutions or officers or employees thereof are
mandated reporters; and the institutions are encouraged, but not required,
to offer disabled and older adult customers the opportunity to submit a
list of trusted persons to be contacted in case of financial exploitation.
■ ■ ■ Louisiana: Covered financial institutions are named as permissive reporters; but all covered institutions must make a reasonable effort, at least
annually, to notify all employees of their ability to report potential EFE
to personnel within the institution.
■ ■ ■ West Virginia: Employees of financial institutions are among those named
as permissive reporters; and institutions and their employees who are
required to file SARs and currency transaction reports are also permitted
to disclose the SARS and reports to the prosecuting attorney of the county
in which the underlying transactions occurred.
■ ■ ■ Washington: Employees of financial institutions are among those named as
permissive reporters; when an institution believes that financial exploitation
of a vulnerable person has occurred or is being attempted, the institution
may refuse certain transactions (which may then involve notice requirements); and institutions must provide EFE training to employees. The
WA attorney general and the Department of Social and Health Services
will develop standardized training that the institutions may offer, or the
institution may develop its own training.
■ ■ ■ Illinois: Financial institutions are not mandated reporters and statute does
not specifically identify them as permissive reporters. However, any person
may report. Also, the Illinois Department of Aging, by joint rulemaking
with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
(IDFPR), has developed required minimum EFE training standards for
financial institution employees and officers that directly interact, in person
or over the phone, with an Older Person. The IDFPR is responsible for
ensuring compliance with these standards.
■ ■ ■ Oregon: Financial institutions are not mandated reporters, however, reporting instances involving abuse or neglect of older adults is highly encouraged for non-mandated reporters. Also, when a financial institution
believes that financial exploitation of a vulnerable person has occurred,
the institution may refuse certain transactions (which may then involve
■ ■ ■ Indiana: Statute does not specifically refer to financial institutions as mandatory reporters, however, all individuals who believe or have reason to believe
that another person is an endangered adult are required to make a report.
However, state EFE mandates are also subject to quick change. The NCSL
reports that bills introduced by state legislators to combat EFE increased to
more than 140 bills in 2017, up from 130 bills in 2016, 106 bills in 2015, and
89 in 2014. Therefore, consult with one’s own legal counsel to ensure full
compliance with all state requirements. ■
Wolters Kluwer is closely monitoring the topic of elder financial abuse. Readers interested in the state research conducted for this article are welcomed to
contact CCOEProgramServicesInbox@wolterskluwer.com, Attn: State EFE
Mandates, to learn more.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LESLIE MCNALLY, J.D., is a compliance analyst with Wolters Kluwer’s
Compliance Solutions group, where she provides regulatory analysis and com-
pliance direction for Wolters Kluwer banking products used by institutions of
all sizes. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Train management and staff to prevent,
detect, and respond to EFE, as well as watch
for “red flag” categories of possible EFE. In
doing so, also be aware of the possible fear
an elder person may have in making these
explanations, and try to find a comfortable
way he or she can talk with the banker.
COMPLIANCE AND REPORTING OF
FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF OLDER ADULTS
The ABA Foundation’s Safe Banking for Seniors national campaign
provides banks with free guides, infographics, handouts, and other
tools to help protect seniors. The initiative includes turnkey modules in
English and Spanish on avoiding scams, preventing identity theft, and
financial caregiving. Additional resources on starting a senior financial
education program and partnering with both law enforcement and
Adult Protective Services are available as well. Bankers can access all
the materials by simply registering at aba.com/seniors.