A bill now signed into law by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory will enable financial institutions to protect older and disabled adults from financial exploitation.
The “financial exploitation of older adults” law was backed by the $26 billion State Employees’ Credit Union of Raleigh, N.C., the North Carolina Credit Union League, the North Carolina Bankers Association and the state’s attorney general’s office.
The new law requires all financial institutions to report to authorities cases where there is reasonable cause to believe that a disabled adult over 18 or older adult 65 or above is the victim or target of financial exploitation, according to a statement released by SECU on Monday.
What’s more, the law also protects financial institution officers or employees from any liability when they “act in good faith.” The legislation also encourages, but doesn’t require, financial institutions to offer older adult members the opportunity to submit a list of trusted persons to be contacted in case of financial exploitation.
“As members navigate various life stages, they encounter challenges which become more prevalent in their later years,” said Debbie LaBarbera, SECU senior vice president. “SECU is prepared to assist its members with these challenges by continuing our efforts to identify suspected financial exploitation and providing additional resources and services for older members as needed.
The Financial Exploitation of Older Adults law is an acknowledgment of the necessary protection for North Carolina’s most vulnerable citizens, and we look forward to working with other financial institutions and local and state authorities to implement the legislation — it’s the right thing to do.”