FSC speaks out against elder financial abuse

The Financial Services Council affirmed its support of the Australian Law Reform Commission's proposed amendments to help combat elder abuse.

The FSC commended the commission's development of a national plan to address elder abuse, particularly a reform that would see the creation of potential avenues to empower financial services providers to act on cases of suspected abuse.

Among the reforms is the proposed introduction of legislation that would see enduring guardians and powers of attorney that breach their obligations forced to compensate the person they represent. The commission believes this will serve to reimburse abused elders without the involvement of law enforcement while acting as a deterrent for the misappropriation of funds.

FSC chief executive Sally Loane acknowledged financial services providers play a significant role in identifying and helping to prevent the growing issue of elder financial abuse.

"As we face the challenges of an ageing population, this responsibility is one we take most seriously. We congratulate the Australian Law Reform Commission on delivering this ambitious set of proposed reforms that address many of the issues of concern to our members and the well-being of their clients," Loane said.

She added that the FSC will continue to work with the commission to ensure that the appropriate legal and institutional frameworks are developed to allow financial services providers "to act on and safeguard against incidence of elder financial abuse."

The FSC also acknowledged the Australian Guardianship and Administrative Council and the Australian Bankers Association for their work in developing the first set of banking industry guidance on the issue.

A submission responding to the paper is expected from the FSC in February.

Read more: FSCAustralian Law Reform CommissionFinancial Services CouncilAdministrative CouncilAustralian Bankers Association forAustralian GuardianshipSally Loane
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