Credit unions and other financial institutions may soon be able to put temporary holds on accounts belonging to some members they suspect are being financially exploited, according to proposed new FINRA rules.

The rules would permit 15-day holds (and longer, in some cases) on accounts held by members who are either 65 and over or over 18, and whom an institution "reasonably believes" have mental or physical impairments that render them unable to protect their own interests. Many credit unions offer investment products through third-party brokerage agreements with FINRA-member firms, and the proposed rules would allow "qualified persons"— those at a firm who serve in supervisory, compliance or legal capacities reasonably related to a member's account — to place the holds.

FINRA would also require firms to make reasonable efforts to obtain the name and contact information for a trusted person who is not authorized to transact business on the account but may be contacted about the member's account. Firms may then inform trusted persons when a hold is placed on an account, according to the proposed rules.

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