The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has just approved steps to help protect senior citizens and other potentially vulnerable adults from financial exploitation and abuse. Referred to by some as a“pause rule,” the proposal would permit brokerage firms to place a temporary hold (or “pause”) a disbursement from a customer’s account if they believed that the customer was being exploited. After pausing the disbursement, the firm would contact the customer’s “trusted contact” to notify them of the suspicious activity. While the new rule would not require firms to place a temporary hold on disbursements, it would provide them with a safe harbor if and when the firm did pause suspicious activity.
With the baby boomer generation at or near retirement age, the timing for FINRA could not be better. FINRA’s CEO specifically referenced the fact that for the next 15 years, roughly 10,000 Americans will be turning 65 each day.
Unfortunately, senior citizens are targeted specifically by financial scammers. Seniors typically have large amounts of liquid assets in the form of retirement savings. When coupled with the potential for diminishing mental abilities, this means an easy target and potentially big payday for a con artist with bad intentions.