THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 6 N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 7 859 NEWS FROM BC LAW INSTITUTE By Lisa A. Peters, Q.C.* Eliminating or at least reducing financial abuse of older adults, or adults with diminished capacity, is a common objective of advocates for those persons and of financial service investment firms in Canada. The highly regulated environment of the investment and securities sector makes responding appropriately to these issues particularly complex. There are gaps in the regulatory and practice landscape that have resulted in vulnerable adults experiencing significant and even catastrophic investment losses. Consider the following hypothetical examples: • Mr. Singh, an 89-year-old conservative investor, instructs his investment advisor to liquidate his securities as he has been promised a twenty-three per cent return in a new scheme he has been told about by a new member of his local community. • Mrs. Adams, a 65-year-old woman who has MS and mobility issues, sets up online access to her investment accounts with the help of her recently bankrupt son, but lately her trades have been highly irregular and have significantly reduced her financial standing. • Ms. Li, a 79-year-old teacher, has had some recent health problems and when speaking with her investment advisor can no longer remember her own name or recent transactions. Financial service investment firms want to address elder financial abuse, undue influence and mental capacity issues without running afoul of privacy or regulatory issues. In addition, financial service investment firms * Lisa A. Peters, Q.C., is chair of the board of BCLI.
Nov Advocate 2017
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