|Photo credit: Ed Yourdon / Foter|
The guidance does not go as far as to sanction to disclosure of information to non-governmental persons, such as a suspected victim's family members or close friends. Recall that the N.C. Act gives financial institutions permission to solicit a list of trusted individuals from older and disabled adults, and requires that those financial institution notify the named individuals when exploitation of the customer is suspected. Despite this omission in the federal guidance, financial institutions may derive some relief from other language in the GLBA regulations that create exceptions for disclosure of consumer's information:
"With the consent or at the direction of the consumer, provided that the consumer has not revoked the consent or direction; or
To protect against or prevent actual or potential fraud, unauthorized transactions, claims, or other liability...."The federal agencies' guidance closes with a reminder that the filing of a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) by a financial institution may be appropriate in some instances of suspected elder financial abuse, and references a May 2013 FinCEN publication in which the CFPB's Office of Financial Protection of Older Americans discusses the use of SARs for elder financial abuse reporting and in which FinCEN points out the new box on the SAR form to indicate suspected elder abuse.
When the N.C. Act becomes effective on December 1, 2013, financial institutions may be more willing to participate in the solicitation of lists of trusted individuals and to report suspected abuse given the federal agencies' statement of support in this new guidance.