The Maine Credit Union League appeared on Portland’s WMTW this week to discuss elder financial abuse and how credit unions can be on the front lines when combating this threat. Jennifer Burke, communications and public affairs manager for the Maine Credit Union League, appeared on the station’s news broadcast to address resources available to report elder financial abuse.
“Unfortunately, a lot of financial abusers are people the senior knows, it could be close friend, even a family member,” she said. “That’s why it’s so critically important to raise this issue and what to do if it impacts you or someone you love… Maine’s credit unions are founding members of a program called Senior$afe, where we train frontline tellers to recognize the signs and point seniors to the right direction to get help.”
Maine’s credit unions have long supported efforts to combat elder financial abuse. They raised the issue in multiple meetings with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who served as chair of the Senate Special Commission on Aging.
Collins later sponsored the Senior$Safe Act, a bill supported by CUNA and Leagues, that would provide protections for reporters of suspected elder financial abuse. The Senior$afe Act became law as part of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155).
CUNA has partnered with AARP to launch BankSafe, a free training platform for financial institutions to empower staff with the knowledge, skills and confidence to identify signs of elder financial exploitation. A AARP study released in November shows that the BankSafe training saved financial institutions and consumers nearly $1 million by preventing financial exploitation.