Good for Business: Making the Case to Fight Financial Exploitation

Financial exploitation is an issue that demands financial institutions’ attention. Banks lose an estimated $1 billion (and rising) annually in deposits. Thieves especially target older Americans (those over 50), with good reason — these customers own two-thirds of all bank deposits. An estimated 1 in 5 older Americans are victims of financial exploitation. Despite these statistics, many financial institutions may not immediately see the business case for fighting exploitation. Executives and managers may believe that the additional training, manpower and …

Is Your Bank Ready to Age With You?

After attending a 2011 U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing where my report on the cost of exploitation was quoted, I discussed the growing problem of financial exploitation with a banker. In minutes over a burger, we identified a way a family caregiver could watch over a loved one’s bank account without giving the caregiver access to make transactions. We implemented this account feature a few months later at Bank of American Fork. Many financial institutions have developed simple and …

Helping Banks Stop the Financial Exploitation of Older Americans

As a teenager, I was friends with an amazing woman named Kaye. She was a nurse during World War II, and after the war, she and her husband — a baron of Poland — worked with Radio Free Europe to help bring freedom to people trapped behind the Iron Curtain. During the time that I knew her, Kaye was the victim of several instances of financial exploitation. She had poor eyesight, which made it easier for people to take advantage …

No Leaping — Some Alternatives to Joint Bank Accounts

When looking to manage a loved one’s finances, leave money to a beneficiary or simply monitor an immediate family member’s account, many turn to joint accounts. While they may be easy to use, as described in a recent blog, joint accounts have risks. And there may be better options, depending on your needs. Assisting With Money Management As we all age, there might come a time when we need help with managing our money. In fact, recent research shows that one of …

Look Before You Leap – What You Need to Know Before Opening a Joint Account

Joint bank accounts can be a great convenience for people who share income and expenses — often the case with married couples.  However, joint accounts also can have disadvantages.  It is important for consumers to understand what a joint account is and what it is not, along with all its corresponding liabilities. When it comes to joint bank accounts, you need to ask yourself: is a joint bank account right for me? A joint bank account may not actually be …