House introduces bill targeting elder financial abuse

Legislation would establish a task force to examine challenges facing senior investors and recommend regulatory, statutory changes

Jul 10, 2018 @ 2:01 pm

By Ryan W. Neal

The House Financial Services Committee will vote Wednesday on a bill to establish an interdivisional task force at the Securities and Exchange Commission to protect senior investors.

Introduced by Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., the National Senior Investor Initiative Act of 2018 would create a team of staff members from the SEC's Division of Enforcement; Office of Compliance, Inspections and Examinations; and Office of Investor Education and Advocacy to examine the challenges facing elderly investors. In particular, the task force will focus on problems seniors have with financial services providers and investment products.

(More: New tools to protect elderly from exploitation)

The task force would work with law enforcement authorities, federal agencies, other SEC offices and state regulators, and report its findings every two years to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee and the House Financial Services Committee. The goal would be to recommend specific regulatory or statutory changes that would benefit senior investors.

(Video: Financial advisers in the fight to protect senior clients from fraud)

The bill also calls for the Government Accountability Office to study and report on the economic costs of the financial exploitation of senior citizens within one year of the bill's enactment.

The legislation has a sunset clause that will terminate the task force after 10 years.

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