8 June 2018
Today’s agreement by the nation’s top lawmakers to identify options to standardise Power of Attorney orders across the country is a significant step in tackling the issue of elder financial abuse however there remains more work to be done.
In March the banking industry renewed calls for action on the issue by the end of the year, with key changes needed to standardise Power of Attorney orders, create a national online register of the orders and a designated body which bank staff can report suspected abuse.
Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh said the decision was a welcome step forward however there was still much work to be done to better equip local bank branch staff to detect and report elder financial abuse.
“Local bank branch staff are on the frontline when it comes to detecting and reporting elder financial abuse but currently their hands can be tied,” Ms Bligh said.
“Important policy changes can take time and today’s decision by the nation’s Attorneys General to identify the best options for standardising Power of Attorney orders is a significant step forward.
“A national online register of Power of Attorney orders must be established as soon as possible following a standardising of orders.
“The industry will continue to push for these changes to be finalised, particularly a designated body in each state to report elder financial abuse.”
“The industry will keep pressing the case to governments across the country to resolve these key issues by the end of the year,” she said.
Contact: Rory Grant 0475 741 007
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Australian banks are launching updated guidelines on financial abuse as part of their continued focus on responding to family violence and elder abuse.
Australian banks are urging state and territory governments to adopt consistent laws on powers of attorney to prevent elder financial abuse.