The Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB) is launching consultations to solicit public feedback on a paper outlining ways to help prevent the financial exploitation of seniors.

In particular, the FNCB is seeking input in four areas:

> opportunities for legislative measures to increase safeguards against the financial abuse of seniors;

> addressing the challenges of reporting and investigating suspected abuse;

> improving best practices for financial services firms to guide them when they spot signs their clients are being financially abused; and

> enhancing collaboration among government departments and agencies to address the issues surrounding financial abuse of seniors.

“Sadly, we routinely hear stories of seniors who’ve been exploited financially,” says Rick Hancox, CEO, FCNB, in a statement. “These stories are far too common, and we anticipate they could multiply with our aging population.”

According to the regulator, seniors now make up 19.9% of New Brunswick’s population — the highest percentage in the country. And that’s expected to grow to 31% by 2038, the FCNB says.

“The challenges are great, but so is the urgency and the advantages of a co-ordinated effort,” Hancox adds.

“We need to work together as a community to protect the seniors in our lives, and engage in a discussion about senior financial abuse and how we can combat it. Our consultation paper will get the conversation started and help us develop a plan to guide the provincial government on legislation and issues affecting seniors.”