The law firm of Bressler, Amery & Ross, P.C. today introduced an interactive, web-based 50 state survey of senior and vulnerable investor laws.
This tool provides a solution for financial services firms and their legal, compliance and supervisory personnel with questions about the mosaic of state laws governing (1) who may and who must report suspected or actual financial exploitation of seniors and vulnerable clients, (2) whether a temporary “hold” of suspicious disbursements and/or transactions is permitted, and if so, for how long, and (3) which states require training programs regarding financial exploitation issues.
The survey provides a summary of each state’s financial exploitation statute and includes links to key state agencies and to required forms where applicable. Bressler actively monitors legislative developments in this space and continuously updates the survey to reflect changes in the law.
The industry tool was unveiled by Bressler at the 2018 National Society of Compliance Professionals national conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The survey may be accessed at https://www.bressler.com/senior-map.
“There are more than 20 states with new financial exploitation statutes, and other states have laws that are about to be enacted,” said Richard Szuch, who manages Bressler’s Senior and Vulnerable Investor Group. “We found that most of our clients are familiar with FINRA’s new rules on senior investors but often face challenges keeping abreast of their state law duties related to financial exploitation.” He added, “Investment advisers, too, are subject to many of these state laws. We created this tool for our clients and for any professional working in the industry who needs a quick reference to these state laws.”
For years, states have had adult protective services statutes. To combat the wave of aging baby boomers and related increases in financial exploitation, a growing number of states have expanded their laws to include “Report & Hold” legislation geared towards investment advisors and broker-dealers. Yet, these laws are not uniform—particularly with regard to reporting obligations or the types of restrictions firms can place on accounts of suspected victims of exploitation or abuse. Until Bressler’s survey, there was no current repository for the information needed to navigate the labyrinth of state laws.
Bressler’s Senior and Vulnerable Investor Issues Group designs end-to-end programs to help investment advisers and broker-dealers prevent and detect the potential exploitation of senior and vulnerable investors and to reduce their regulatory and litigation risk. The group includes 30 attorneys from Bressler’s securities, insurance, and tax and estate planning and administration practice areas and work out of Bressler’s offices in New Jersey, New York, Florida, and Alabama.