FSC Guide on the Prevention of Elder Financial Abuse

The Financial Services Council (FSC) has released its Guide to the Prevention of Elder Financial Abuse for financial services institutions.  The guide identifies risks, red flags and responses.

It refers to The AFCA Approach to Financial Elder Abuse which explains how AFCA handles complaints raising elder abuse issues. AFCA’s guide specifies standards that financial firms should meet when red flags have appeared.

It notes that when AFCA considers complaints that involve financial elder abuse, AFCA asks the financial firm to provide information including:
• Contemporaneous customer notes about transactions where financial elder abuse was of concern. This should set out the circumstances giving rise to the concern and the steps the financial firm took to delay the transaction or take other preventative action.
• Details of any conversations held with the customer.
• If the financial firm did not discuss their concerns separately and in private with the elderly person, an explanation of why this did not occur.
• Details of any specific preventative action taken.
• Recollections of events from financial firm employees involved in transactions which are the subject of the complaint.
• Copies of its internal policy and procedures in relation to financial elder abuse, and specific steps the financial firm took to comply with those internal policies and procedures.
• Where applicable, contemporaneous notes or relevant documents showing the customer received a benefit from the transaction in dispute.

The Guide also refers to the ABA’s Industry Guideline for Protecting Vulnerable Customers from Potential Financial Abuse.

While the Guide lists Community Support Groups and legal centres for customers to obtain advice it does not list reporting agencies that financial firms can report to.

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