Community bankers can provide advice to the elderly to avoid financial exploitation
Washington, D.C. (July 8, 2014) – The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) and the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation (SHCPF) today released SHCPF’s “Preventing Elder Financial Abuse Presentation Toolkit.” The video and associated print materials are the first of their kind at providing relevant, beneficial and helpful information to consumers about elder financial abuse.
A recent study published by MetLife Mature Market Institute estimates that the financial loss by victims of elder financial crimes and exploitation is more than $2.9 billion a year. Approximately 2 million seniors are financially exploited each year, and nearly 84 percent of these incidents go unreported, according to the study. Awareness of elder financial abuse is growing, and bankers are often relied upon as the front line of defense in the protection of their customers and as providers of prevention education and information for elderly customers and their adult children.
“Community bankers play a vital role in protecting members of our communities, and we need to help educate all people about elder financial abuse,” said ICBA Chairman John H. Buhrmaster, president and CEO of 1st National Bank of Scotia, N.Y. “It is incredibly important that consumers speak to their local community bank to better equip themselves with the tools and resources to protect themselves or loved ones from becoming victims of elder financial abuse.”
The Preventing Elder Financial Abuse Presentation Toolkit features a video and customizable handouts that are perfect for community bankers to share with family, friends, those in social or religious organizations and the community at large to help educate the elderly and their families on how to keep their finances safe and secure.
“Elder financial abuse is a rapidly growing problem in our country, and the Foundation is pleased to provide this educational resource to the banking industry to teach our nation’s seniors and their family members how to protect themselves against financial exploitation,” said Peter Gwaltney, chairman, president and CEO of the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation. “It is vital that every banker helps to spread the word on ways to prevent elder financial abuse and exploitation to all senior citizens and their families.”
To view tips on how to prevent elder financial abuse, visit here. For more information on the Foundation, visit www.SHCPFoundation.org. To order the Preventing Elder Financial Abuse Toolkit, visit SHCPF’s website. For more information on community banks, visit www.icba.org.
About ICBA The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for more than 6,500 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services.
About The Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation (SHCPF) The Foundation serves as a way for banks to earn CRA credit in the form of CRA-qualified loans, investments or grants through the operation of the nationally acclaimed Senior Crimestopper’s program. Funded exclusively by the banking industry, this program provides safe, secure and improved quality of life living environments in low and moderate income senior housing facilities, HUD communities and our nation’s Veterans homes. Banks enjoy guaranteed CRA credit, no administrative burden, installation of a turn-key program, and positive public relations exposure in their communities.
Not only does the Foundation impact the lives of the elderly, we also impact the community outside of the long-term care industry through the CRA-qualified securities we purchase on behalf of our bank partners. As March 31, 2014 the community impact has reached approximately $134 Million which goes to provide affordable home mortgages for low-to-moderate income families, affordable healthcare services, small business development providing job creation, as well as other economic development projects.
Senior Crimestoppers is a multi-faceted program that protects the elderly from theft, abuse, neglect and financial exploitation, and is administered by the Foundation who is endorsed by the ICBA, the ABA, and bankers associations in 38 states. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.SHCPFoundation.org or call 877-232-0859. For more information about the program, visit www.SeniorCrimestoppers.comor call 800-529-9096.