CFPB Targets Senior Financial Fraud, Questions “Expert” Designations

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today announced a specific initiative aimed toward protecting older Americans from deceptive financial practices and abuse. The effort includes an examination of professionals who are deemed designated as the best advisors for seniors. 

Citing $2.9 billion lost to the “silent crime” of financial exploitation of older Americans, CFPB Director Richard Cordray outlined a public inquiry and new efforts the bureau will take toward preventing of elder financial fraud. 

“Our initiative will evaluate how financial advisors obtain certifications that designate them as the best advisors for older Americans,” Cordray said. “We want to know where these designations are coming from and whether or not older Americans and their families can easily find out which designations are legitimate.”


The effort will work with the Bureau’s Office of Older Americans, led by Skip Humphrey, to find the most common forms of senior financial fraud as well as the types of financial education that are available toward prevention. The outcome will inform future policy decisions, Cordray said. 

“We want to know what is working and what is not, so that we can fix what is not working,” he said. “Older Americans need to be able to take comfort in the fact that their financial advisor is actually looking out for their best interests. Right now, we know that too often the opposite is the case – some of these people call themselves “experts” in senior finances after having received only a few hours of inadequate training.”

Read more about the bureau’s effort on its blog. 

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • The use of those which require less than the equivalent of 15 units of college level courses in a field directly related to the industry discipline and at least 30 total units in business generally should be eliminated.  Or simply use the FINRA standard which eliminates everything except qualified registrations (licenses) to sell specific products — no unrelated licenses, no degrees, and no certificates.

    For our industry, we would be able to say the basis upon we can provide loans.  For me that would be to state on California related transactions that I hold a California real estate broker license endorsed by the NMLS to provide mortgages because my NMLS license is based on my being a California real estate licensee.  As an Oregon licensee, all that could shown is that I am a NMLS licensee with no reference to being a real estate broker even if I was a real estate broker in Oregon as well.

    The FINRA standard is the cleanest and the best.

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