Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Unking Up to Fight Elder Abuse

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Unking Up to Fight Elder Abuse

Article excerpt

SENIORS HOLD MASSIVE spending power and the majority of bank assets today. They are also at the greatest risk for fraud and financial abuse. In fact, one in five seniors report that they have been victims in some form or another. Fraudsters continue to develop new scams to rob seniors of their hard-earned life savings, but banks are increasingly adopting creative approaches to help protect their older customers.

The ABA Foundation has increased Its attention to the issue as well, developing tools and resources to help bolster the work that bankers are doing to protect their valued customers. We created Safe Banking for Seniors in 2016 as a bank community outreach program that equips bankers with presentation lessons, activities and other materials to educate older Americans and their caretakers. To date, more than 1,100 banks and 44 state bankers associations have signed on to help educate and protect older customers in their communities.

In continuing to add new tools to the Safe Banking for Seniors arsenal, the ABA Foundation launched a new component to the program called FinEdLink. FinEdLink is an automated platform that helps connect senior-focused community groups with local bankers for banker-led educational presentations. The platform matches banks and community organizations with the common goal of providing senior consumers with the knowledge, tools and capabilites to make better informed decisions about securing their finances.

The foundation piloted FinEdLink last fall with a small number of bank partners to ensure this new tool was a simple and seamless way to connect banks and local organizations. Bank of the Rockies in Montana, a 2017 ABA Foundation Community Commitment Award winner for its elder fraud education program, known as "CONversations about Cons," was a trial participant. …

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