In an effort to crack down on elder financial abuse — the No. 1 crime committed against people 65 and older — the Edcomm Group and the California Bankers Association (CBA) have collaborated to deliver training to California banks on how to prevent the phenomenon.
From this partnership has come Focus on California Elder Financial Abuse, an e-learning program the CBA will help distribute and promote to banks throughout the state. The program includes Edcomm’s Learning Link system, which helps with tracking and certification.
Focus on California Elder Financial Abuse is based on the Edcomm Group’s course, Focus on Elder Financial Abuse, the aim of which is to help banks deal with new laws that target elder financial abuse. The means to this end are to teach front-line staff about the best way to serve elderly customers while reducing the risk to the banks.
Focus on California Elder Financial Abuse also will provide training on issues related to elder financial abuse. Additionally, it will go over the definition of elder financial abuse, as well as the state laws that govern it.
Further, participants in the program will learn how to detect warning signs of elder financial abuse and the proper way to report it. Accurate, compliant reporting is the key to protecting both banks and customers of all ages, according to Dr. Linda Eagle, president of Edcomm Group. She also said the company was pleased to enter into a joint effort with CBA, and that Edcomm is committed to educating bank personnel about elder financial abuse.
“We’re delighted to be working with the California Bankers Association to bring this vital training program to its member banks,” Eagle said. “The state of California has always been at the forefront of protecting its citizens, and the banks of California have been at the forefront of protecting their customers. This program will protect the banks and their elderly customers while ensuring that regulatory compliance requirements are met.”
There are more than 5 million cases a year of financial abuse of elders, and according to the CBA Web site, more than 80 percent of cases go unreported.
Washington, D.C., and 17 states have enacted laws that require bank personnel to report suspected cases of elder financial abuse, and another 33 states recommend it.
A revised version of the Elder Justice Act of 2003 is in committee, and it is expected to pass in 2006.
For more information, see http://www.edcomm.com.
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