Preventing Exploitation: Five Banks Leading the Fight

Summary of Publication

In an effort to protect consumers and fight exploitation, AARP is spotlighting promising practices of financial institutions around the world. The five short business case studies in this paper introduce the problem, the solution, and benefits. These case studies prove fighting exploitation is a smart business decision that saves money, increases brand distinction, strengthens customer trust, and improves employee morale.

Everyone Loses to Exploitation

- Older Americans lose at least $3 billion a year to exploitation.

- Banks lose $1 billion in deposit fraud.

Solutions and Recommendations:

-Wells Fargo Advisors developed an emergency contact form so clients can  provide the name of a trusted family member to be contacted in an emergency. If advisors are concerned about a customer’s mental decline or if they suspect financial abuse, they can involve families in situations sooner.

-By creating the Dementia-Friendly Financial Services Charter, Lloyds Banking Group improved the process for power of attorneys, increased training for employees, and appointed a senior-level “Dementia Champion” in each branch to help older customers.

- First Financial increased training to identify scams as part of its Fraud  Busters program. Bank employees work to develop familiarity with customers’ banking habits, so they know when to report an incident to a manager.

- Bank of American Fork provides third-party online monitoring and a read-only account feature, which allows a trusted loved one to track account movements without giving them access to the funds.

- Barclays is testing a beacon app that customers can use to automatically alert employees about their impairments—such as deafness or blindness—as they walk through the door of the bank. Employees can accommodate the customer’s impairment without any explanation on the customer’s part. 

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