The Securities and Exchange Commission, the North American Securities Administrators Association and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. have issued a fact sheet to help raise awareness of the Senior Safe Act.
The act, signed into law a year ago, addresses barriers that financial professionals face in reporting suspected senior financial exploitation or abuse to authorities. The fact sheet was issued on the first anniversary of the law's enactment to provide information on its immunity and training provisions, as well as additional resources from the SEC, NASAA and Finra.
Specifically, the act protects "covered financial institutions" – which include investment advisers, broker-dealers, and transfer agents – and their eligible employees from liability in any civil or administrative proceeding for reporting a case of potential exploitation of a senior citizen to a covered agency. In a release, the agencies said this immunity can be helpful when a firm wants to report potential exploitation but fears that the report could violate a privacy requirement.
The immunity provided in the act requires that employees receive training on how to identify and report exploitative activity against seniors before making a report. In addition, reports of suspected exploitation must be made "in good faith" and "with reasonable care." The immunity applies to individuals and firms.