FINRA Probes Compliance With Elder Abuse Rules
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has announced it will soon start investigating broker compliance with new rules meant to protect elderly clients from financial elder abuse. The rules allow broker-dealers to place a hold on elderly clients’ account disbursements if they have a reasonable belief the client is being financially abused. The San Francisco financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. endorse the new rules and FINRA’s efforts at compliance. We represent seniors financially exploited by caregivers, trustees, agents under Powers of Attorney, and others making unauthorized withdrawals from seniors’ accounts or exerting undue influence over a senior to withdraw fund. If you or someone you know is over 60 and lives in California and is a victim of financial elder abuse, call us today at 415-441-8669.
Suspicious withdrawals from a senior’s account are a real red flag of financial elder abuse. Brokers and registered financial representatives are in a good position to spot suspicious withdrawals much like bank tellers or officers who handle banking transactions for seniors. But while unauthorized disbursements are a real problem for seniors, abusive transactions such as sales of unsuitable life insurance and annuities, abuse of Powers of Attorney, and other forms of financial fraud are huge risks for the elderly too.
To help prevent the financial exploitation of a senior loved one, here are some questions you should ask your senior loved one regularly:
- Has a salesperson, such as an insurance agent or reverse mortgage broker, approached him or her recently? Agents and brokers target seniors with commission-generating products, like annuities, insurance and reverse mortgages. Has he or she been invited to any “free lunch” seminars? If so, warn them not to go! Those are traps for hard sells.
- Has a caregiver come into their life who’s helping with bills and finances? This is a serious red flag. Do not allow caregivers access to any financial information or cards, checks or cash. If your loved one needs help paying bills/writing checks, get a professional fiduciary. A caregiver’s responsibility should be strictly limited to care and never extend to finances, money or important legal documents. Never grant a caregiver a Power of Attorney over financial matters.
- Does your loved one need help with investment decisions? Offer to help. The senior may be reluctant or embarrassed to ask for help even though they realize their ability to handle financial matters on their own is slipping.
- Are bills being paid on time? Look around the house for unpaid bills. They may be piling up.
- Has anyone approached the senior about managing his or her money? Financial advisors and “planners” target older persons. While professional help may be needed, use caution. Look for fee-based financial advisors and avoid any that earn commissions on sales to the senior.
- Are there financial safeguards like Powers of Attorney or Living Trusts in place? Safeguards are really useful but only work if the appointed attorney-in-fact or trustee is a trusted, competent, responsible individual. And, again, never give a Power of Attorney to a caregiver.
If you or a loved one been the victim of financial elder abuse or annuity fraud in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other Evans Law Firm annuity fraud attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.
Annuities and life insurance produce large sales commissions for insurance agents and brokers but are often inappropriate products for consumers, especially seniors. Leading providers and distributors of life insurance and fixed, variable and fixed indexed deferred annuities in California are listed below. We are not in any way suggesting that any of these carriers or distributors has done anything wrong. Rather, the list is provided solely as a reference for our readers.
AIG/American General Life Insurance Company
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company
American General Life Insurance Company/AIG
American National Life Insurance Company
Ameriprise Financial/RiverSource Life Insurance Company
Ameriprise Financial/Securities America, Inc.
Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company
Athene Annuity and Life Company
Aviva Life Insurance Company
AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company/AXA US
Bankers Life Insurance and Casualty Company
Berkshire Hathaway Group
Berkshire Hathaway Life Insurance Company of Nebraska
Brighthouse Financial, Inc./MetLife
Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.
Crump Life Insurance Services, Inc.
CUNA Mutual Group/CMFG Life Insurance Company
Delaware Life Insurance Company
EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company
Forethought Life Insurance Company/Global Atlantic Financial Group
Genworth Financial, Inc.
Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company
Genworth Life Insurance Company
Global Atlantic Financial Group/Forethought Life Insurance Company
Guardian Life Insurance Company
Guggenheim Partners/Security Benefit Life Insurance Company
ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company
Jackson National Life Insurance Company
John Hancock Life Insurance Company
Lincoln Benefit Life Company
Lincoln Financial Group
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc.
Metlife/Metropolitan Life Insurance Company/Brighthouse Financial, Inc.
Minnesota Life Insurance Company
National Life Group
National Life Insurance Company/Equity Services, Inc.
National Western Life Insurance Company
Nationwide Life Insurance Company
New York Life Insurance Company
North American Company for Life and Health Insurance
Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company
Oxford Life Insurance Company
Pacific Life Insurance Company
Principal Financial Group
Prudential Life Insurance Company
Raymond James Insurance Group
Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company/Tokio Marine Group
RiverSource Life Insurance Company/Ameriprise Financial
Securities America, Inc./Ameriprise Financial
Security Benefit Group, Inc.
Security Benefit Life Insurance Company/Guggenheim Partners
Security Investors, LLC
The Standard Life Insurance Company
Symetra Financial Corporation
Symetra Life Insurance Company
Transamerica Life Insurance Company
Unum Life Insurance Company of America
USAA Life Insurance Company
Voya/Reliastar Life Insurance Company
Wells Fargo Advisors
Western & Southern Financial Group
The Western & Southern Life Insurance Company
World Financial Group Insurance Agency, Inc.
 We wrote about these new elder abuse rules as soon as FINRA released them. You can read our analysis here: https://www.evanslaw.com/california-marin-county-financial-elder-abuse-annuity-attorneys-new-finra-rule-financial-elder-abuse/.