The McGowan Government and Bankwest today brought together the ‘Big Four’ banks and other members of the financial and community services sectors for a roundtable to combat financial elder abuse.
In a Western Australian first, representatives from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, Westpac and ANZ all attended the discussions to share best practice strategies towards preventing the growing issue.
While there a number of types of elder abuse, it most frequently takes the form of financial abuse involving the misuse or theft of an older person’s money or assets by people known to them.
The roundtable discussion, held at Bankwest’s Murray Street headquarters, focused on:
- Raising awareness of financial abuse as a form of elder abuse;
- Exploring options for approaching financial abuse and sharing best practice; and
- Establishing individual commitments that financial institutions can take back to their organisations.
The WA Financial Abuse Roundtable is one part of the State Government’s final Strategy to Respond to the Abuse of Older People, due to be released later this year, following its release for public comment in June.
As stated by Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray:
“Older people must be able to feel safe, respected and valued in their communities.
“I am delighted with Bankwest’s leadership in engaging the financial services sector to reduce instances of financial elder abuse and create broader public awareness of the issue.
“The representation of over 40 members of the financial and community services sectors, including the ‘Big Four’ banks at today’s event, shows the strong commitment by industry and Government to work together to combat financial elder abuse.
“Elder abuse is not just an issue for older people, it affects us all. I look forward to the co-ordinated response arising from today’s roundtable to protect vulnerable older people and prevent occurrences of financial elder abuse through evidence-based early intervention.”
As stated by Bankwest Executive General Manager Sinead Taylor:
“At Bankwest we are committed to supporting customers we suspect are at risk of, or subject to, financial elder abuse.
“This roundtable event is a fantastic opportunity to bring together a large and influential group of government, business and community leaders to explore new ways to support and protect customers from the growing scourge of financial elder abuse.
“While Bankwest does all it can to identify and stop suspected incidents of financial elder abuse, real, sustainable change requires all the concerned stakeholders to work together to help prevent the occurrence of abuse and protect our more senior citizens from unscrupulous fraudsters and scammers.”
Minister’s office – 6552 6400