Banks call for extra powers to prevent elder financial abuse

Banks claim they are best placed to stop growing problem of financial abuse of the elderly.

Banks want to stop elder abuse

The banking industry has called on the country’s Attorneys General to agree at Friday’s COAG meeting to changes which will empower bank staff to help detect and prevent elder financial abuse. 

At the beginning of this year the banking industry, along with seniors groups, called on the Federal Government to take the lead on these important changes to help bank staff tackle elder financial abuse. 

The proposed changes include a standardisation of power of attorney orders, a national online register and a designated body to report abuse. 

In this year’s Federal Budget, the Government announced funding for a national online register and an intent to seek agreement from states and territories for a standardisation of power of attorney orders. 

“Every year in Australia, older people are the victim of financial crimes, and while we often see terrible stories about elderly people being robbed, we very rarely get any insight into a far more silent and sinister crime being committed against older Australians – financial abuse,” Australian Banking Association Chief Executive Anna Bligh said.

“Financial abuse is a serious and far reaching problem that can happen to anyone, but some people, like the elderly, people with a disability or other vulnerable and isolated people are at greater risk. 

“Increased house prices and reasonable superannuation balances can mean that some older people are in a good financial position. For some adult children, this leads to what some refer to as inheritance impatience.

“Seniors advocacy groups and the banking industry are united in their determination to see action on this problem.

“Australia needs a standardisation of power of attorney orders, which are logged onto an online register and a legally protected body were elder financial abuse can be reported.

“Elder financial abuse can of course be reported to police directly, however, it’s often hard as those involved are often close family and friends. 

“We can’t keep drawing this out – all governments need to decide and act to ensure that Australia addresses this growing issue,” she said. 

What do you think? Should the banks have more powers to try and stop financial elder abuse? Are you worried about any moves to give banks more power in the wake of the ongoing Royal Commission into the industry?

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    COMMENTS

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    Robinmy
    8th Jun 2018
    10:20am
    My first thought on seeing this was of the fox and the henhouse.
    Allenmack
    8th Jun 2018
    12:41pm
    Exactly my sentiments. If Anna Bligh is involved "OMG".
    GeorgeM
    9th Jun 2018
    8:02pm
    Yes, it does look very much like that, Robinmy.

    Also. what is the use of a Register,when they do not have staff to attend even to the large number of known child abuse cases such as recently reported in NSW, Qld and NT?
    Just a ploy by Banks to look like they are doing something good for a change - Anna trying to justify her useless role to fool the people!
    almost a grey hair
    8th Jun 2018
    11:12am
    yeah, based on the banks recent track record lets all trust those nice people at the bank to look after our parents hard earned life savings.
    MICK
    8th Jun 2018
    11:24am
    Sounds sensible as long as it is not the next step in controlling behaviour for genuine children.
    I've seen some terrible things play out over the last decade where ratbag genY children have murdered their parents to get their hands on the dough. This is what our generation has brought up and some of us need to rethink the values we instilled into the heads of our offspring. Not pretty....pushed along by the media running the routine story about 'rights', 'expectations' and lifestyle, all of which defy logic and reality.
    Many of us have a sad story to tell about relationship breakdown with children. The expectation that we should "hand it over" is the nonsense playing out and I can't see how anything is going to improve from here.
    How will the next generation play out???? Frightening.

    8th Jun 2018
    12:17pm
    Good on the banks for taking on this social responsibility

    Philanthropy and social responsibility thrives when we have a good capitalist system with less government intervention
    Our strong banking sector is a testimony to the wonders of the free market and capitalism
    Allenmack
    8th Jun 2018
    12:44pm
    Our strong banking sector is full of rogues and thieves. I wouldn't trust any of them.
    MICK
    8th Jun 2018
    1:41pm
    Right wing Raphael back on the job supporting the crooks.
    Theo1943
    8th Jun 2018
    4:10pm
    Raphael, you are obviously a master of sarcasm.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2018
    4:22pm
    The free market and capitalism in the form of laissez-faire economics led to some of the worst social disasters ever seen. Spare us the Right-wing claptrap.
    floss
    8th Jun 2018
    1:44pm
    I would rather hear the the one about the three little pigs.Social responsibilty by the the banks just another porky.

    8th Jun 2018
    1:44pm
    Here's the story told by someone close to me. Lady received a ''windfall'' at age 87. Daughter liked the look of the amount so stole the cheque and Mum's driver's license, forged signature and cashed cheque. We are talking close to $100K. Bank ACCEPTED mother's driver license as ID of a woman 41 years younger and with virtually NO physical similarities. No attempt at verification. Ignored the ''Not Negotiable - pay to account payee only'' message on the cheque. No close inspection of signature - which differed from the mother's in a very noticeable way.

    When the mother died, an Affidavit came to light spelling out how she had been taken down for nearly $100K but didn't want to involve police as couldn't bear to see her daughter charged with a crime - BUT wanted said daughter excluded from inheriting as she already got her share so the rest should go to other children. Rogue child challenged will - SUCCESSFULLY - claiming ''need''. Solicitors questioned truth of Affidavit and suggested more evidence was required to verify any abuse had occurred (even though rogue child virtually confessed in her statement demanding more from the estate). Bank REFUSED to provide information on the grounds of ''privacy'' and FSO said he had no power to intervene. Ultimately, the lawyers took nearly all of the estate!

    So, trust the banks? Not likely! Especially now we are seeing evidence of their dirty dealings in so many other areas over past years. But what concerns me more is that the law can't be trusted. I've seen several other instances of ''privacy'' laws protecting criminals and covering crime, and it seems the courts are not the slightest bit interested in fairness or justice.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2018
    1:49pm
    Another tall story !
    Cheque would have been a/c payee only non negotiable
    You certainly know more than your fair share of unfortunate people to last 10 lifetimes
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2018
    3:17pm
    OGR - were u born stupid, or is this outcome your life's achievement? How does this justify ur bank bashing comments? Surely the crook in this instant is/was the daughter. And along with Raphael, I find it hard to believe. As you are so down on the banks, government, justice system, boy scouts, girl guides, Mother Teresa and probably Helen Keller, have you considered emigration? They tell me the Sudan is nice, this time of year!
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2018
    3:31pm
    Haha - spot on Big Al

    Even when withdrawing such large amounts of cash from ones own bank account the withdrswal would require 2 if not 3 approvals including the manager on duty
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2018
    4:28pm
    Trust the Lieberal Party hacks here to question the veracity of this story. Provide proof of its falsity or shut the hell up!

    OGR has no reason to lie about this. Knowing human nature as I do, her tale has the ring of truth about it.

    The fact that there's a Royal Commission into the banking sector amply demonstrates what nefarious, totally untrustworthy bastards they've been - and continue to be.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2018
    5:22pm
    K-A-L you seem to share the same intellectual standing of OGR. You are down on everything that is good about this country - maybe you should consider taking a long trip OS to purge your prejudices - I think they would welcome a twat like you in sub Saharan Africa - you would fit in well!
    Anonymous
    9th Jun 2018
    8:38am
    Maybe the moronic LNP trolls should learn a little about what goes on in the real world - the world OUTSIDE their privileged arena in which everything happens as it should.

    Thanks Knows-a-lot. You show intelligence. Only BLITHERING IDIOTS dismiss something as untrue without knowing anything about either the incident or the people involved. As it happens, Big Al and Raphael, there are court records PROVING it happened as I said. And no, the bank did NOT follow proper procedure. If banks always followed proper procedure, there wouldn't be an RC finding evidence of criminal acts and gross negligence.

    As for Raphael, he demonstrated on another post that he can't even read a plain English statement correctly, so it's not surprising he hasn't the intelligence and perception to comprehend reality.

    The point, Raphael, is that what SHOULD happen and what DOES happen are two entirely different things. And yes, I have encountered a lot of unfortunate people. You do when you grow up an orphan and live much of your life fighting injustice and poverty. I've also had some experiences that would have added to the long list of shocking bank wrongs noted by the RC. I was lucky, though, on the one occasion when wrongdoing by a bank could have completely destroyed me financially. A wealthy friend and a friendly solicitor stepped in and resolved the problem. It was educational to see how very differently the bank staff behaved when someone with substantial wealth threatened to close all their accounts and spread the word among friends, and a lawyer said he would represent me pro bono to sue the bank, and make sure there was abundant publicity of the case. Suddenly, arrogant staff who were happy to tell me ''Sorry, that's bank policy'' were falling all over themselves to fix the problem. Life is very different when you have no bargaining power. Sadly, the privileged know that, and take advantage of it, but get very angry when their abuse is exposed. Hence the accusations here. Can't have the truth told, can we? I note the same ignorant people were defending the banks, claiming the RC was a ''witch hunt''.

    Big Al, you are a disgusting, brainless smart-ass. One doesn't have to be ''down on'' anyone or anything to observe the problems in our society and lobby for improvement. Only those who benefit wrongly from a flawed system condone it. Obviously you and /Raphael have prospered from fraud, major exploitation and gross injustice - otherwise you would not object to it's exposure.
    Anonymous
    9th Jun 2018
    8:48am
    So much anger and bitterness Rainey - sad

    Strange how you bag the rich all the time but when you want some thing you’re more than happy to make use of them
    Do your friends see what rubbish you write about them on these pages
    Anonymous
    9th Jun 2018
    7:46pm
    I don't ''bag the rich'' Raphael. I bag the ignorant, arrogant, greedy and self-serving. There's a difference. There are good rich people out there - people with empathy and understanding, and eager to help the disadvantaged when they can. I have good friends who are wealthy. Wealthy people have done great kindnesses for me at times. It's the SCUM I am bagging.
    Adrianus
    11th Jun 2018
    10:10am
    Raphael, you obviously don't realise that the rich are being baged because they are ignorant, arrogant, greedy and self serving SCUM.
    According to Rainey and Knows Nothing a person who works in a bank is a totally untrustworthy bastard.
    I respect their right to an opinion but. sweet mother of Jesus, what a pair of bigoted nutters. LOL
    VeryCaringBigBear
    11th Jun 2018
    12:04pm
    OGR stop repeating stories out of those trashy magazines like Just Life and Take 5.
    GrayComputing
    8th Jun 2018
    1:49pm
    Banks doing good monitoring of strange banking practises is OK.
    But by legislation they need to notify a government agency and those with power of attorney. The must not become a law of themselves and decide what is going to happen or not happen.
    Banks and governments do not learn from history or even learn from lasts weeks history!
    Eddy
    8th Jun 2018
    3:23pm
    Are we talking about banks and other financial institution being granted 'greater powers' or banks etc being obliged to report what appears to be financial abuse, not only of the elderly but of anyone (ie the mentally impaired such as brain damaged victims of road trauma) under some form of guardianship? Is it greater powers banks etc want or legal protection if they act on or report suspected wrongdoing which is later shown to be unfounded? Need more detail before I can express an opinion.
    Anonymous
    8th Jun 2018
    3:35pm
    For the banks own welfare I believe they shouldn’t take on this responsibility
    The greedy will find ways to con the bank and sue then sue them for so called “losses”
    Anonymous
    9th Jun 2018
    8:41am
    You mean they shouldn't take on this responsibility because they would not perform and when sued they would try to blame the victims of their non-performance.
    Anonymous
    9th Jun 2018
    8:51am
    No Rainey - can’t you read ?
    I said unscrupulous people will use the banks kindness against them
    Just like how some are now trying to make money out of banks for their own stupid financial decisions
    Rae
    9th Jun 2018
    9:29am
    Unfortunately we can't protect people from making stupid mistakes and criminal behaviours.

    OGR you are expecting everyone to suddenly become intelligent, honest and caring of others and that isn't human nature at all.

    My concern is purely selfish. This is another situation where my private business will be registered with a private corporation and one more avenue for identity theft and the selling of my data.

    If more and more money is to be flung at Big Brother watching us then make Big Brother accountable for security of the data with enormous fines, recompense and gaol sentences for getting the security wrong.
    Kathleen
    9th Jun 2018
    10:09pm
    Raphael, ‘banks kindness’ which is an obvious oxymoron and then you go on to say ... blaming people for what the banks are being accused of at the moment! Are you saying the banks are not doing anything wrong when they obviously blatantly are?!
    Are you a banker? That could explain your LNP leanings and lack of empathy for the poorer people.
    Anonymous
    10th Jun 2018
    1:17pm
    Rae, I don't expect everyone to suddenly become intelligent, honest and caring, but it would be nice if the law actually protected the good guys rather than the criminals and the banks observed the law.
    Adrianus
    11th Jun 2018
    9:51am
    Eddy, Raphael is right. If this banking inquiry proves something it proves that banks should stick to the law as it relates to banking and do not under any circumstances expose themselves to more litigation from customers who throw themselves under a bus.
    MD
    8th Jun 2018
    5:23pm
    Maybe just another sop by the almighty money lenders to appease their current poor social standing. Then again they may have good reason in wanting to protect their own interests - can't have any low-life, scaly ring-ins withdrawing funds from the coveted stash (that's been) squirrelled away deep in the vault can we ? Whose money is it after all - possession nine tenths favoured in law!
    Which comment reminds me of a recent withdrawal (when) the teller queried - "And for what purpose do you require these funds?" When I replied "private reasons" I was tersely reminded "They (bank staff) are required by Govt to ask this question". My retort suggested my dealings are with the bank - not with the Govt - (so) record this transaction however seen fit.

    Hot on the heels of recent findings in the Bank RC that the banks have our best interests in heart are a given, right ?
    Rae
    9th Jun 2018
    10:15am
    The recent scandalous passing of the APRA banking legislation and some other laws makes it glaringly obvious that our money in the banks is not at all safe.APRA and the Government are trying to protect the financial industry from the fallout of years of excess.

    The G20 started this protection for banisters.

    There is no stash squirrelled away. Just 000 and 111 on screens and a great big bill of debt that may or may not be able to be repaid.

    Desperate people do desperate things and it has always been tricky when debt fuelled booms start unravelling.

    Time for us all to be less complacent. The banks are not there for us. They never have been.
    Rae
    9th Jun 2018
    10:16am
    Banksters not banisters.
    floss
    8th Jun 2018
    6:45pm
    The greed is good gang still supporting the banks hard to believe, strange people.
    MD
    8th Jun 2018
    9:13pm
    "But a stranger in a strange land, he is no one. Men know him not, and to know not is to care not for." Robert A. Heinlein
    Adrianus
    11th Jun 2018
    8:20am
    What's even stranger is the timing of this very caring statement. It comes at a time when Banks are under the microscope and staring down the barrel of more regulation.
    Very clever move by a very caring ex Labor polly but it won't work.
    Triss
    8th Jun 2018
    9:52pm
    Wasn’t it the government that siphoned off nearly $400 million of so called dormant accounts, much of it from pensioners, about three years ago?
    I think I agree with Robinmy about fox and henhouse.
    Anonymous
    9th Jun 2018
    8:52am
    The money is there to be claimed by anyone who can prove its theirs

    9th Jun 2018
    2:05pm
    How do you stop children who blackmail their parents...such as "If you don't buy me a new car I wont take you shopping or to your doctor visits etc>" and the person who is old and frail cannot bear the thought of having to do this on their own so they acquiese to whatever demands are put on them. Too embarrsed to tell anyone that their own child or children are doing this to them. I have seen it first hand.
    Priscilla
    9th Jun 2018
    5:37pm
    Definitely!
    keviosays
    12th Jun 2018
    1:08pm
    Anna Bligh ??? TRUST HER and her mob of dishonest cohorts ??? NOT LIKELY !!!
    Priscilla
    7th May 2019
    11:49am
    No way should banks be involved. They have proved to be liars and thieves and definitely should not have any added power.