Sunday, August 15, 2010
The SEC, FINRA and NASAA pdated a joint report that outlines practices being used by financial services firms to strengthen their policies and procedures for serving senior investors as they approach and begin retirement. The SEC, FINRA and NASAA first published the report in 2008 to highlight proactive steps being taken by some financial services firms in serving senior customers. It was intended to assist the overall industry in enhancing compliance, supervisory and other practices related to older investors. The 2010 Addendum summarizes additional practices now being used by financial services firms and securities professionals in serving senior investors.
Nearly 40 million Americans are 65 or older, and this number is expected to more than double to 89 million by 2050. As a result of the economic downturn, many older investors find themselves with smaller nest eggs than they anticipated. Estimates show that total retirement assets decreased by $4.5 trillion (25 percent) from 2007 to the first quarter of 2009.
The 2010 Addendum focuses on the following categories when describing the latest practices being used by firms and securities professionals when serving senior investors:
- Communicating effectively with senior investors.
- Training and educating firm employees on senior-specific issues.
- Establishing an internal process for escalating issues and taking next steps.
- Obtaining information at account opening.
- Ensuring appropriateness of investments.
- Conducting senior-focused supervision, surveillance and compliance reviews.