Wagner’s Financial Exploitation Prevention Act receives House approval

The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday approved legislation proposed by U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) that would give the financial industry better tools to address suspected financial exploitation and abuse of senior citizens and those with mental and physical disabilities. 

“I thank my colleagues for supporting my legislation that will provide our potentially vulnerable investors with an important layer of protection to help make sure that they receive the hard-earned savings that they have built up over the years,” said Rep. Wagner, who serves on the U.S. House Financial Services Committee.

If enacted, the Financial Exploitation Prevention Act of 2021, H.R. 2265, which Rep. Wagner sponsored on March 26, would require the Securities and Exchange Commission to report to Congress on recommendations for legislative and regulatory changes regarding how to combat such financial exploitation, according to a bill summary provided by the congresswoman’s staff.

The bill also would permit a registered open-end investment company or transfer agent for that company, including mutual funds, to better protect seniors by delaying the redemption period of any redeemable security if it was reasonably believed that such redemption was requested through the financial exploitation of a security holder who is a senior or an individual unable to protect their own interests, the summary says.

“Financial exploitation of seniors and other vulnerable adults is a serious and growing problem,” Rep. Wagner said. “As more investors age into retirement, the risk of financial exploitation for elderly households only increases. The Financial Exploitation Prevention Act is needed to provide certainty to protect our seniors, and I hope the Senate takes swift action to pass this important legislation.”

Since its introduction, H.R. 2265 has gained eight cosponsors, including U.S. Reps. Bryan Steil (R-WI), Bill Huizenga (R-MI), and Ed Perlmutter (D-CO).