FINRA Solicits Comment on Proposed Rules Addressing Financial Exploitation of Seniors

Issue Highlighted by FINRA’s Securities Helpline for Seniors™

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) today issued
Regulatory Notice 15-37 requesting comment on proposed rules addressing
the financial exploitation of seniors and other vulnerable adults. FINRA
is proposing amendments that would require firms to make reasonable
efforts to obtain the name of and contact information for a trusted
contact person for a customer’s account. In addition, FINRA is proposing
a new rule that would permit firms to place a temporary hold on a
disbursement of funds or securities when there is reasonable belief of
financial exploitation, and to notify the trusted contact of the
temporary hold.

Currently, FINRA’s rules do not explicitly permit firms to contact a
non-account holder or to place a temporary hold on disbursements of
funds or securities where there is a reasonable belief of financial
exploitation of a senior or other vulnerable adult.

“This is intended to provide firms with appropriate tools to use when
they have reasonable belief that financial exploitation is taking place.
This will enable firms to better protect their senior and other
vulnerable customers,” said Susan Axelrod, FINRA Executive Vice
President, Regulatory Operations.

The comment period expires on November 30, 2015.

The need for these changes became clear from calls into FINRA’s Securities
Helpline for Seniors
™, which, since its launch in April 2015, has
received approximately 1,900 calls and highlighted some of the issues
firms are facing when it comes to senior investors, including how firms
respond when they suspect a senior customer is being exploited.

FINRA also plans on amending its New
Account Application Template
, a voluntary model brokerage account
form that is provided as a resource to firms when they design or update
their new account forms, to capture trusted contact information.

Investors can obtain more information about, and the disciplinary record
of, any FINRA-registered broker or brokerage firm by using FINRA’s
BrokerCheck®. FINRA makes BrokerCheck available at no charge. In 2014,
members of the public used this service to conduct 18.9 million reviews
of broker or firm records. Investors can access BrokerCheck at
or by calling (800) 289-9999. Investors may find copies of this
disciplinary action as well as other disciplinary documents in FINRA’s
Disciplinary Actions Online database. Investors can also call FINRA’s
Securities Helpline for Seniors at (844) 57-HELPS for assistance
or to raise concerns about issues they have with their brokerage
accounts and investments.

FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest
independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the
United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market
integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary
compliance and technology-based services. FINRA touches virtually every
aspect of the securities business – from registering and educating all
industry participants to examining securities firm, writing rules,
enforcing those rules and the federal securities laws, and informing and
educating the investing public. In addition, FINRA provides surveillance
and other regulatory services for equities and options markets, as well
as trade reporting and other industry utilities. FINRA also administers
the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and firms. For more
information, please visit


Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
, 202-728-8464
, 202-728-8379