Financial elder abuse
Financial elder abuse relates to situations where an older person experiences harm, distress or financial loss occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust. It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect.
There is no doubt that financial elder abuse is devastating and harmful to the victims, their family members and friends. It can take many forms. Often one form of financial elder abuse can be an indicator of additional mistreatment.
Financial planners are in a unique position to be able to identify financial vulnerability and should be prepared to offer vulnerable clients a good outcome.
Helping FPA members combat financial elder abuse
The FPA is supporting members on this issue. We have been working with the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) to develop new guidance that aims to help financial planners who may work with, or who are likely to work with, vulnerable clients.
The FPA also participated in a working group to develop the Financial Services Council’s (FSC) guide to the prevention of financial elder abuse.
The FPA also provides accredited CPD programs on the topic which are available via My CPD. These include:
Policy – FPA’s contribution to addressing financial elder abuse
The FPA has been actively involved in advocacy and the identification of policy settings to address and prevent financial elder abuse, starting with our contributions to the Australian law Reform Commission’s 2016 inquiry, ‘Protecting the Rights of Older Australians from Abuse’.
As a member of an industry elder abuse working group, the FPA supports initiatives proposed by the Australian Bankers Association (ABA) and Financial Services Council (FSC) to address elder abuse, including:
- the establishment of a national online register of enduring documents
- Consistent Power of Attorney laws across the country which protect people from this kind of abuse
- A register to report suspected elder abuse
Research – FPEC research grants on elder abuse
The Financial Planning Education Council (FPEC) awarded two research grants to universities in 2019 to support research into this area. Both teams were awarded $5,000 to fund their programs which begin in 2020. The research grants were supported by NAB.
Queensland University of Technology (QUT)