Iowa legislators are working on a bill to address the exploitation of adults who cannot take care of their own financial affairs due to their age or a disability.
“Financial exploitation of adults has grown more sophisticated,” Chance McElhaney of the Iowa Insurance Division said during a Senate subcommittee hearing this morning.
The bill is patterned after laws in 27 other states.
“At the heart of the bill, it allows a broker-dealer or an investment advisor, when they see something, to be able to say something,” McElhaney said.
A recent national study of elder abuse reports involving family members found 62% of the cases were about alleged financial abuse of an elderly relative.
If the bill pending in the Iowa legislature becomes law, financial advisors would be shielded from lawsuits for reporting concerns about relatives or guardians to state officials. The bill also outlines under what conditions a financial transaction may be delayed if an investment advisor suspects it’s not in the best interests of the dependent adult.
Senator Craig Johnson, a Republican from Independence who is the Senate bill’s floor manager, has worked as an investment representative.
“My past experience working in the industry for seven-and-a-half years, I think this bill should be very well received,” Johnson said, “and I’m interested to move it forward.”
House and Senate committees are considering adjustments to the bill, but no legislator or interest group has raised objections to the concept.