Supporting Senior Safe Act standards

Supporting Senior Safe Act standards

Panel outlines BankSafe features and training requirements for credit unions.

June 18, 2019

During a breakout session at America’s Credit Union Conference Tuesday, two speakers outlined how the BankSafe Training Platform, developed by the AARP, can help credit unions meet the immunity requirements of the Senior Safe Act (SSA).

The conference is being hosted by CUNA at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida through Thursday.

The BankSafe platform was developed in collaboration with more than 2,000 financial industry professionals to identify and stop financial exploitation, which accounts for more than $1 billion in losses to financial institutions each year.

The program includes a five-module course specific to credit unions, including a video introduction by CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. The program includes video and gamification as well as role playing and questions to test employee knowledge.

“Everything that is in this training is based on real-life scenarios,” says Jilenne Gunther, AARP’s senior strategic policy advisor. “When you have interactive scenarios, participants are able to retain more of the training.”

Elizabeth Eurgubian, CUNA’s deputy chief advocacy officer, outlined how the BankSafe program helps credit unions meet the regulatory guidance requirements of the SSA, which was a part of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law May 24, 2018.

The SSA protects “covered financial institutions,” including credit unions, and their eligible employees, affiliated persons, and associated persons from liability in a civil or administrative proceeding for reporting a case of potential exploitation of a senior citizen to a covered agency.

There were similar provisions in the Graham-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 for certain types of disclosures, but those weren’t explicit enough to provide comfort for financial institutions, Eurgubian says.

“The Senior Safe Act specifically provides safe harbor for credit unions if the credit union provides the training,” she says.

“The key word is training,” Eurgubian says. “Employees must receive the training.”

In addition to training, credit unions must report training to the covering agency, which for credit unions is NCUA, Eurgubian notes.

Credit unions must also document the content of the training and maintain a record of each individual who has completed the training.

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