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Seniors Rights Victoria working with banks

At Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV) we deal with a high number of cases of financial abuse. We are proud to have achieved positive outcomes for our clients and in many instances this has included the successful recovery of our client’s financial losses. During 2021-2022, our small service recovered $1.5million dollars for our vulnerable clients.

Proof of financial abuse has historically been hard to obtain due to our client not using internet banking and not seeing their bank statements for a long time.

SRV works with clients to obtain financial statements from banks. Once statements are received, we complete a thorough analysis and if we identify possible financial abuse, we seek the client’s instructions and work in conjunction with the bank to stop the abuse. This often involves removing the perpetrator’s access to the account completely. We also work with the bank to put measures in place so that our clients can still access their money. We then quantify the loss and assist our clients to recover their losses from the perpetrator.

Due to tight privacy rules, designed to protect a bank’s clients, obtaining statements has typically been a drawn out process. Banks would not share statements to someone other than their client or an appointed attorney. This could result in delays in our ability to assist our clients, sometimes up to several months. This caused frustration and further financial loss as the financial abuse continued.

In the past twelve months two financial institutions have recently removed barriers to obtaining statements. The banks have provided a direct contact for obtaining our client’s bank statements and other relevant information, speedily by email, often within 24-48 hours. This is of course with an Authority to Act from the client. This is invaluable to our service as it enables us to assist clients who are victims of financial abuse far more easily and quickly.

Cooperation by these two banks shows recognition of the importance of the work that SRV does for their customers, as well as the bank’s commitment to protecting their vulnerable customers.

We are hoping to influence more financial institutions to do the same. 

If you, or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse, help is available through our confidential helpline on 1300 368 821 

If you, or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse, help is available through our confidential helpline on 1300 368 821.

If it is an emergency, call 000.
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