The Business, Entrepreneurship & Tax Law Review

Article Title

Taking the Next Step: Simple Changes Regulators Can Make to More Effectively Combat Financial Exploitation


Zachary Winter


Since 2016, three regulatory measures that put financial institutions at the forefront of combatting financial exploitation of elderly adults have been adopted. These three regulatory measures—“An Act to Protect Vulnerable Adults from Financial Exploitation,” FINRA RULE 2165, and the “Senior $afe Act”—permit, and sometimes require, financial institutions to take certain precautionary measures when they reasonably suspect financial exploitation of vulnerable adults. These measures laid a strong foundation for combating financial exploitation but can easily be improved to protect even more elderly investors. This article provides a background and description of each of these regulatory measures in order to highlight their strengths and weaknesses. It then addresses the next steps regulators must take to build upon these strengths and fix inherent weaknesses. All the proposals provide realistic, practical solutions that can easily be implemented to strengthen financial institutions’ ability to combat financial exploitation of elderly adults.