"I think you can all expect that during a lot of your
The focus on senior investors dates at least to 2007, when FINRA issued a regulatory notice calling on firms to revisit and update their policies for protecting senior investors.
Though it's hardly a new issue, regulators have made it clear in recent years that they intend to scrutinize the policies that firms have in place to flag and address potential issues of abuse of senior investors.
"It's more relevant now in 2014 than probably it was in 2007," said
There are any number of red flags that could suggest suspicious activity around an elderly client's account, such as the withdrawal of large sums of money. Panelists stressed the importance of developing a training program for brokers and advisors, but also noted that flagging senior issues isn't the type of challenge that can be addressed with a checklist.
"It's such a spectrum of potential scenarios relating to this," said
From the broker vantage point, Runkle emphasized the importance of keeping open the lines of communications with the advisors who have a personal relationship with the clients, and are often in the best position to identify when an investor's faculties might be slipping and, when appropriate, alert family members who could intervene.
"Our first line of defense when it comes to these types of situations are our financial advisors who care about their clients, are protecting their clients," Runkle said.
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