Gentile writes on credit unions fighting to curb elder abuse

League President Paul Gentile recently authored a Guest Opinion entitled Credit Unions Combat Elder Financial Abuse for Credit Union Times.  The piece, which appears in the paper’s January 8 edition, touches on some of the steps that credit unions are undertaking to address this huge problem.   Gentile cites data from insurance provider MetLife, which shows “Americans over the age of 60 lost about $2.9 billion from financial abuse in 2010, up 12% from $2.6 billion lost in 2008.” 

He went on to describe how credit unions are getting involved at every level, from promoting legislation protecting seniors to helping individual older members who appear to be confused about their finances or that are in a disoriented state when they come into the credit union.  He also pointed to efforts being undertaken at some credit unions to use new technological initiatives to prevent elder financial abuse. 

One such effort is the result of collaboration between Bellco Credit Union in Colorado and the Filene Research Institute.  The program called Senior Sentry “red flags” suspicious account activity and generates alerts so that the credit union can do more research and reach out to counsel the member if appropriate.