Bankers’ Roles in Recognizing Elder Financial Abuse

Join us in Madison for WBA’s annual Trust Conference

On May 25, 2022, WBA will be hosting its annual Trust Conference for the benefit of those involved with trust and estate planning. The one-day event held at the WBA office will assist trust professionals in staying up to date on upcoming changes in regulations, the economy, and overall trust department functions.

The conference will also feature a general session on elder abuse and undue influence by Jonathan Ingrisano and Nicholas Bezier of Godfrey & Kahn, S.C. Trust bankers and wealth managers of all levels will benefit from this session on spotting and responding to potential financial abuse of their elderly customers.

According to the World Health Organization, one in six individuals 60 years or older have experienced some form of abuse. Of this, less than 20% of financial abuse is reported by the individual or their proxies. “It is a growing problem that we can only expect to get worse as our population ages,” said Ingrisano.

This troubling trend is not only on the rise in Wisconsin, but throughout the country. As fraudsters become more sophisticated (even so that celebrities such as Stan Lee have endured financial abuse), it is important that bankers know the signs, understand their rights, and feel confident in approaching the situation.

As elder financial abuse cases rise, bankers have taken on the role of trusted advisors and observers. Trust bankers especially develop unique professional and personal relationships with their customers and have a greater ability to notice patterns, spot questionable distributions, and identify unexpected changes in their repeat customers patterns and behaviors.

“I want trust bankers to know they are empowered to do what they think is right, and their hands are not tied,” said Ingrisano. In this, the session will include advice from Godfrey & Kahn, S.C. representatives on reporting financial abuse or fraud, the tools and resources for trust bankers to consult as they work through cases, and important red flags to notice both in elderly customers and/or personal relatives experiencing such abuse.

In addition, trust bankers will also have the opportunity to learn more about how their paper trail observations on the front end can impact the actions taken by department heads or legal counsel on the back end. Through referrals or reports, bankers will learn of the avenues available to protect vulnerable members of their communities.

WBA’s Trust Conference is approved for 5.25 CTFA credit through the American Bankers Association (ABA). Register now to take advantage of this opportunity to stay ahead of upcoming regulatory changes, maintain your certification through ABA, as well as gain insight on how to better serve your community. Please contact Miranda Helt, WBA’s assistant director – education, at mhelt@wisbank.com with questions regarding the conference.