Regulatory measures to combat the financial exploitation of senior investors appear to be successfully rooting out possible abuse, according to the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).
The group of state and provincial securities regulators reported that, in jurisdictions that have adopted measures that give financial firms safe harbour for disrupting suspected abuse, there has been an increase in reports of suspected exploitation.
NASAA developed model legislation that aims to provide industry firms and regulators with tools to detect and prevent financial abuse of vulnerable clients.
The model act offers brokerage firms and investment advisers immunity for delaying disbursements in cases of suspected abuse.
It also requires reporting to regulators and protective services agencies when financial exploitation is suspected.
“Many of the first states to enact the model act have seen a drastic increase in use of these statutes and the number of reports of potential financial exploitation from firms,” NASAA said.
It noted that 25 U.S. jurisdictions have adopted rules or legislation based on its model, and that others are expected follow.
“The model act is on a course to become operative in a majority of states this year and as more states enact legislation based on this model we expect to see additional reporting leading to more enforcement actions and greater protections for seniors and other vulnerable adults,” said Christopher Gerold, president of NASAA and chief of the New Jersey Bureau of Securities, in a statement.