NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A6099A
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law and the bank-
ing law, in relation to the role of banking institutions in protecting
vulnerable elderly persons from financial exploitation
This bill permits banking institutions to freeze single financial trans-
actions where there is a belief that an elderly persons has been the
victim of financial elder abuse. This legislation also provides training
to banking officials.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Amends section 473 of the social services law by adding a new subdivi-
Defines "banking institution' to include many forms of financial insti-
tutions in New York. Defines ''vulnerable elderly adult" by moss-refer-
encing section 260.31 of the penal law. Defines "financial exploitation"
to includes series of commissions or omissions with the intent to obtain
control through deception, intimidation, or malicious influence, a
vulnerable elderly person's assets. Defines "qualified individual" to
include a person of supervisory authority at a banking institution.
A banking, social services, or law enforcement official who reasonably
believes that financial exploitation of a vulnerably elderly person has
occurred or may occur again may refuse or delay a single transaction
from the account of the vulnerable elderly person or the account of
which a vulnerable elderly person is a beneficiary. A banking institu-
tion shall not be required to refuse or delay funds pursuant to these
If a banking institution refuses to disburse or delays moneys pursuant
to these provisions, the bank must;
(i)Must make a reasonable effort to notify all parties to the trans-
action within 5 days of the refusal or delay; and
(ii)Immediately but no later than 1 business day after the refusal or
delay report the incident to adult protective services or local enhanced
multi-disciplinary. The report shall include the reason for refusing
and/or delaying the transaction. The report may include any other facts
deemed relevant by the bank.
(iii)Adult protective services or law enforcement may request all infor-
mation and documentation related to the refusal or delay.
The refusal or delay shall terminate upon the earlier of:
(i)the issuance of a court order; or
(ii)ten business says after the transaction was held or delayed.
In no case shall a bank delay or refuse to disburse funds related to
ongoing obligations such as housing, medical are, or other emergency
If a bank engages in the practice of delaying or refusing transactions,
the bank must designate one qualified individual with the authority to
refuse and delay transactions. Such person will be required to file
Section 4 of the banking law is amended to provide immunity for banking
institutions that engage in refusing or delaying transactions when there
is a suspicion of financial elder abuse.
Section 3 creates a new section 4-d to require the Department of Finan-
cial Services to create training and education materials. The Department
of Financial Services in consultation with the Office for Aging, Adult
Protective Services, Office of People with Developmental Disabilities,
and Office of Victim Services shall develop training materials. The
Department of Financial Services shall also consult with a number of
advocacy groups as well. Participation in training will be voluntary by
This is a new section of law.
Persons over the age of 65 are the fastest growing segment of the.
American population, While senior citizens constituted only 4% of the
total population in 1900, by 1994 the proportion of seniors in the
United States had grown to 12.5%. By 2050 almost 25% of all Americans
will be over age 65. This dramatic shift in population distribution has
produced tremendous upheavals in family structure and in our societal
response to the treatment and care of OUT senior population. One problem
faced by many seniors today is how to care for themselves when their
traditional network of support, their children and grandchildren, are
occupied with raising their own families and are often spread out over a
wide geographic area.
Evidence suggests that there may be a surprisingly high percentage of
senior citizens who are, either intentionally or unintentionally,
mistreated by family members or institutional caregivers or who of their
own volition, are neglecting in their own basic custodial needs. This
maltreatment can take many forms, ranging from physical and psycholog-
ical abuse to neglect to financial abuse and exploitation. While phys-
ical abuse and neglect would seem to be a more immediate concern for the
elderly than protecting their financial assets from potential theft or
conversion by relatives and caregivers, the loss of one's financial
assets can have an even more severe a long-term impact on a senior's
well-being and quality of life as a physical injury or abuse.
A 1990 congressional report also concluded that elder abuse is far less
likely to be reported than child abuse, estimating that only 1 in 8
cases of elder abuse, as compared with 1 in 3 cases of child abuse, is
ever reported to the authorities. Encouraging the reporting of suspected
financial exploitation of vulnerable adults, including the elderly is an
important public policy goal that should be achieved. Currently, 42
states and the District of Columbia have statutes requiring various
professionals (typically health care professionals, psychologists and
social workers) to report known and suspected incidents to prescribed
On the 180th day.