WASHINGTON — Support is building for legislation that aims to help financial professionals reduce elder financial fraud by providing them a safe harbor if they report it to state or Federal regulatory and law enforcement entities.

The House passed the bill by voice vote Tuesday after it was reported out by the House Financial Services by a unanimous 59-0 vote June 15.

Specifically, H.R. 4538 provides that banks, credit unions, investment advisers, broker-dealers, and insurance companies and certain supervisory, compliance and legal employees of these entities would be protected from civil or administrative liability as long as these employees received training in how to spot and report predatory activity and disclose any possible exploitation of senior citizens with reasonable care to state or Federal regulatory and law enforcement entities.  The bill was originally introduced by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), last year.   They are the chairman, and ranking minority member, respectively, of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. It is based on legislation enacted in Maine.

However, the Senate Aging panel does not have the authority to report out the bill, and it is currently languishing in the Senate Banking Committee.

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