National Seniors Australia, the peak advocacy body for older Australians, strongly supports the Australian Banking Association’s call for tougher measures to protect seniors against financial abuse.
National Seniors CEO, Professor John McCallum, has long been urging for national standardised powers of attorney.
“We very much support moves to get rid of the chaos of various powers of attorney across the states.” he said.
Professor McCallum is also calling for better legal support for bank staff who are on the frontline to combat financial abuse of elders.
“Banking staff often see first hand older Australians being taken advantage of by trusted family, friends and carers.”
At the National Elder Abuse Conference in Brisbane a fortnight ago, Professor McCallum told delegates that financial abusers were being given a ‘free run’ while Australia waits for standardised powers of attorney and the creation of a national register.
“Banks are training staff to help them pick up the signals of financial abuse, but a determined abuser won’t be deterred by one knock-back – they’ll simply move along to another branch or bank. What we need, as a matter of urgency, is a national safety-net for the most vulnerable.” he told the conference.