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Consultation on Financial Services for the Elderly

(3 Posts)
Needmoresleep Mon 07-Mar-16 10:39:53

A regular theme has been frustration with banks and other financial service advisors and their inflexible or unpredictable requirements. I cannot have been the only one who had a complete meltdown when faced with a stoney faced cashier who demanded two forms of photo ID before giving an 83 year old, newly out of hospital and needing to pay for convalescent care, access to her money. A level of consistency would be great, as would banks being required to show that their systems were fit for purpose when it came to the vulnerable elderly. The dream would be electronic access to POA documents for authorised users, perhaps similar to access to the land registry or electoral roll, saving on the cost of getting solicitors make copies.

I would also like to see thought given to how banks react to people with declining capacity. At the moment the approach seems to veer from saying people have full freedom to make decisions, even if they are bad ones, to freezing the account. Possibly some form of "emergency arbitration" where a bank employee is able to work with a close relative to make emergency "best interests" decisions. Unfortunately, and probably inevitably, many people refuse to make proper plans for when they lose capacity. Meaning that when the crisis hits and they really need access to their "rainy day money" it is not available.

I would also like to see mechanisms that would allow prompt action once CABs and other's become aware of scams that prey on the elderly and perhaps the ability to block the buying and selling of addresses and phone numbers of people known to be vulnerable. I cleared a skip load of junk mail from charities and dodgy vitamin sellers from my mother's flat and discovered she had no less that 12 sets of "protection" on her Sky TV box, all multi year contracts, sold over the phone.

I could go on but....

it seems the FCA have decided to look at the issue.

There is the inevitable mention of stakeholders which always suggests a Saturday night out at a Berni Inn. However a number of us have seen the problems first hand and will have valuable experience to contribute. It would be nice if we could use our voice.

Perhaps they might even invite us to meet and we could go along wearing our leopard print scarves.

Please add any ideas you might have to this thread. I think my contribution to the consultation will be a lengthy one.

CMOTDibbler Tue 08-Mar-16 09:57:56

Some great ideas there NMS.

Something that concerns me is that as the push to manage everything online progresses, more people will end up not being able to manage their affairs, and with absolutely no paperwork for anyone to be able to try and unpick the issues. My mum had managed everything online, and when she couldn't log in anymore (which was quite early in the whole process) dad was completely lost. They are lucky enough to live somewhere with an actual branch who have been great, and look out for them, but its a struggle.

I think it would be a great thing if people who can still manage a little could have an account linked to their main account which could have a sum transferred each month, with a debit card, but where no transfers or direct debits/standing orders could be set up on and no overdraft, and remaining monies swept back to the main account each month. This would allow them autonomy, especially now with contactless purchase, but with a very limited risk.

The emergency arbitration suggestion is genius. It could be controlled via getting a form filled out by a responsible HCP, and time limited.

PingPongBat Tue 08-Mar-16 23:27:21

This is good to see NMS.

At our CAB we often see issues surrounding elderly people and their finances, but I suspect it's only the tip of the iceberg, as their families try to sort out the problems themselves, often months or even years after the trigger which caused the problem.

The financial capability aspect really interests me, as we are trying to improve our service in this area. Reaching elderly people to provide advice is hard, they are often housebound, often not online at all, have health issues, & may be too proud to ask for help.

Will have a good read of the paper & try to come back with ideas.

and I have an animal print scarf, will that do? grin

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