Elder financial abuse reports not mandatory

Posted: Aug. 18, 2011 10:02 am Updated: Oct. 15, 2014 11:15 am


To The Herald-Whig:

I feel compelled to point out the inaccuracy of your recent headline, "Banks now required to report suspected elder financial abuse." (8/14/11). In reality, banks are not required to report suspected elder financial abuse, as your headline clearly suggests.

In fact, banks have fought for years against a mandatory reporting requirement for elder abuse. Despite the advocacy efforts of organizations such as AARP, the banking industry has successfully squelched all attempts to make banks mandatory reporters for elder abuse.

As is accurately articulated further down in the article, bank tellers are simply required to receive training in elder financial abuse. However, there is not a consistent form of training required. Banks can satisfy their requirement by simply showing a 30-minute DVD to their employees once every three years.

While training is a step in the right direction, without a requirement to report suspected abuse, the new law simply doesn't go far enough.


Lynne Ruben