Banks Combating Financial Exploitation

Bankers Taking the Charge to Help Fight Financial Exploitation

Contact: Kristy Merrill, President | Tel: (603) 224-5373 | Email: kmerrill@nhbankers.com

CONCORD, New Hampshire – The New Hampshire Bankers Association (NH Bankers) applauds the NH House for passage of SB 385, which allows for the delaying of transactions to help combat financial exploitation. The bill passed the House and Senate with strong, bipartisan, support and now heads to the Governor’s desk for signature.

Kristy Merrill, President of NH Bankers says, “Bankers are our front-line workers who are uniquely positioned and often the first to detect financial exploitation of senior citizens and vulnerable adults, whether through the wide range of scams or others trying to take advantage of the elderly. There are too many experiences where people ask banks to help after the scam has occurred. Through SB 385, banks will be able to put a pause on a transaction when exploitation is suspected, providing precious time to stop financial abuse of those who are vulnerable.”

“I truly believe that providing financial institutions this tool of last resort will help us further protect our most vulnerable customers. We are thankful that the legislators find the same value in this as we do.” said Brad Kulacz, Regional Vice President, Branch & Business Development Manager at Merrimack County Savings Bank.

“I’m very pleased to see the legislature recognize that financial exploitation of vulnerable adults in this state is a real issue and more needs to be done to stop this type of abuse. Passage of SB 385 will better equip the financial institutions in this state to stop the exploitation from continuing and prevent some from losing their entire life savings.” said Sunny Mulligan, Co-Chair of FAST-NH.

“This legislation is vitally important in helping to combat financial exploitation of some of our state’s most vulnerable citizens and we thank Senator Bradley for leading this effort, the legislature and the many stakeholders for their support,” said Kristy Merrill.

Background:

The proposal mirrors SB 252, a similar bill passed in 2019 allowing Broker-Dealers to place a 15-day hold on transactions.  NH Bankers worked closely with the State Attorney General’s office, the NH State Banking Department, and Health & Human Services to craft the proposal.

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About New Hampshire Bankers Association

The New Hampshire Bankers Association is a statewide, not-for-profit trade association representing and serving all banking institutions in the State of New Hampshire. The mission of NH Bankers is to foster a banking environment that strengthens our communities.  For further information, please visit www.nhbankers.com or call (603) 224-5373.

About FAST-NH

FAST-NH (Financial Abuse Special Team) is a multidisciplinary team consisting of financial institutions, state and federal agencies, law enforcement, and business groups and trade organizations whose goal is to combat and stop financial exploitation of vulnerable adults.

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The mission at FAST is to increase public awareness of financial exploitation with the goal of mitigating risk of exploitation and protecting our state’s vulnerable populations.

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