Does the designation you hold suggest you cheat the elderly? More state securities regulators are trying to find out, while the Securities Exchange Commission has just called its second annual “Seniors Summit” for September 10. Like last year, the event is meant to examine ways in which regulators and other groups can help prevent the overwhelming amount of senior fraud being committed in the securities industry. (For more about this year’s summit, click here.)
Since last year’s first senior summit, Massachusetts and Nebraska have taken steps to limit the use of designations that have not been approved at the state level. Meanwhile, Washington state is considering adopting a rule that would prohibit the use of designations that suggest expertise in senior issues. It is also considering requiring anyone who uses a professional designation that suggests expertise in financial planning to register as an investment adviser.Over the past year, “the greatest change has been that regulators are becoming more and more aware that most cases that we look at involve some senior victims,” says Patricia Struck, former president of North American Securities Administration Association (NASAA) and Securities Administrator for Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. “A number of states have looked at enhanced penalties [for senior fraud], and a lot of states are looking at preventive measures.” The Uniform Securities Act is now pending in many state legislatures and in many cases it includes enhanced penalties for senior fraud, she says.