Wisconsin has introduced a bill that would allow financial service providers, such as financial institutions, mortgage bankers and brokers, and other types of lenders, to refuse or delay financial transactions if the institution has reasonable cause to suspect that financial exploitation of individuals who are 60 years or older (“vulnerable adults”) has occurred, may have been attempted, or is being attempted. The financial institution service provider may, but is not required to, refuse or delay:
- A financial transaction on an account of the vulnerable adult;
- A financial transaction on an account on which the vulnerable adult is a beneficiary, including a trust, guardianship, or conservatorship account; and
- A financial transaction on an account of a person suspected of perpetrating financial exploitation.
A financial service provider may also refuse or delay a financial transaction if an elder-adult-at-risk agency, adult-at-risk agency, or law enforcement agency provides information to the financial service provider demonstrating that it is reasonable to suspect that financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult may have occurred, may have been attempted, or is being attempted. Lastly, a financial service provider may refuse to accept an acknowledged power of attorney if the principal is a vulnerable adult and the financial service provider has reasonable cause to suspect that the principal is or may be the victim or target of financial exploitation by the agent or person acting for or with the agent.
If a financial transaction service provider has refused or delayed a financial transaction, the financial institution must make a reasonable effort to notify one or more parties authorized to transaction business on the account orally or in writing and must report the incident to the applicable elder-adult-at-risk agency or adult-at-risk agency. The vulnerable adult may provide the financial institution service provider with a list of persons that they authorize the financial service provider to contact when the financial service provider has reasonable cause to suspect that the vulnerable adult is a victim or a target of financial exploitation.
This bill is in the early stages of the legislative process. The complete bill can be found here.