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Best Practice Guidance for Firms Serving Senior Investors

 

The Securities and Exchange Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) have issued updated best practice guidance for financial services firms to strengthen their policies and procedures for serving senior investors as they approach and begin retirement.  The report was first published in 2008, and has been updated by the agencies to reflect new practices firms have implemented to better serve senior investors since the intervening financial crisis.  

The report, "Protecting Senior Investors: Compliance, Supervisory and Other Practices Used by Financial Services Firms in Serving Senior Investors," summarizes practices used by financial services firms and securities professionals in serving senior investors in the following areas:

  • Getting started: how firms are thinking of ways to remodel their supervisory and compliance structures to meet the changing needs of senior investors;
  • Communicating effectively with senior investors;
  • Training and educating firm employees on senior-specific issues (such as how to identify signs of diminished capacity and elder abuse);
  • Establishing an internal process for escalating issues and taking next steps;
  • Encouraging investors of all ages to prepare for the future;
  • Advertising and marketing to senior investors;
  • Obtaining information at account opening;
  • Ensuring the appropriateness of investments; and
  • Conducting senior-focused supervision, surveillance and compliance reviews.

The 2010 addendum to the report is available at:  http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/seniors/seniorspracticesreport081210.pdf 

The text of the 2008 report is available at:  http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/seniors/seniorspracticesreport092208.pdf