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Elder financial abuse was the biggest topic with Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul during the recent Financial Crimes Investigators of Madison (FCI) meeting. Kaul, who had been invited by the WBA to speak, told the 70+ attendees that elder abuse in all forms is becoming a bigger issue every year for Wisconsin. He stressed that information sharing by stakeholders will be crucial in protecting our seniors. Kaul encouraged investigators to work with the Department of Justice on these issues.

Preventing financial crimes and elder financial abuse continues to be a hot topic as more groups realize the full extent of this growing trend. Recently, the CFPB and DFI hosted a meeting with local, regional, and statewide elder justice stakeholders. The purpose was to determine how Wisconsin stakeholders can work together to prevent and obtain justice for victims of elder financial exploitation. The CFPB will produce a report on the findings of this group which will include suggestions on new approaches to addressing elder financial abuse. WBA will distribute that report when it becomes available. 

On a similar topic, on Sept. 11, WBA attended a train-the-trainer workshop hosted by CFPB, FDIC, and DFI focused on identifying and preventing elder financial abuse. The Money Smart Older Adults (MSOA) workshop, held in Madison, attracted individuals from elder advocacy agencies, state/county government, and many financial institutions. Over 20 WBA member banks and associate members registered for the event, representing nearly half of the attendees. A synopsis of the event is available by clicking this link

All the MSOA handouts and presentation materials are public domain, so banks can download the files from FDIC’s website and rebrand them before distributing in the community or to customers. One example: have your front-line staff hand out the “Managing Other People’s Money” pamphlet to customers who come in to open a POA account. Banks can also bulk order the materials from CFPB’s website.

WBA has several free resources, including a training video and dementia-friendly webinar, available for members at www.wisbank.com/ElderAbuse.

FCI is a group of Madison-area bankers, law enforcement, state agency representatives, and other financial crime investigators. This group meets on a monthly basis to share local financial crime trends as well as best practices. WBA’s Eric Skrum sits on the FCI Board.