Every year on June 15, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is commemorated in America and worldwide, with the purpose of raising awareness about the millions of older adults who experience elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. As many as 1 in 10 older Americans are abused or neglected each year, only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse ever come to authorities’ attention. Older Americans are vital, contributing members of our society, and their abuse or neglect diminishes all of us. WEAAD reminds us that, as in a just society, we all have a critical role to play to focus attention on elder justice.
CRA Partners is a turnkey CRA compliance program powered by the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation. The Foundation operates Senior Crimestoppers, a nationwide crime prevention program educating and safeguarding against theft, abuse and neglect, and is funded exclusively by the banking industry.
Now, banks that partner with them to satisfy CRA requirements, boost community relations, and develop new business relationships, while ensuring safe, secure senior living environments in their communities, will receive a new benefit: “Cyber-Savvy Seniors”, a Resource Portal, where partners with password access can download documents with information geared toward senior citizens that will help them navigate the ever-changing waters of online safety. Digital scams continue to increase dramatically, and seniors are particularly vulnerable to cyber-crime.
“Banks involved in our programs will now have access to these valuable resources to share with their older clientele on subjects like stopping robocalls, keeping their data safe online, and how to avoid things like gift card scams, phishing, and more,” said Shea Gabrielleschi, VP Southeast Region – CRA Partners.
Additionally, CRA Partners will co-brand the materials with the partner bank logo if desired, and can even add nursing home brand identity of the bank’s sponsored facilities, so that the information can be distributed to residents and staff at their sponsored facilities.
Foundation programs are already protecting over 100,000 seniors nationwide.
“We are happy to have supported the Senior Crimestoppers program for many years. We have supported a long-term senior care facility and one of the NC State Veterans homes through the program. Our commitment to these facilities is ongoing and we look forward to participating in them for years to come.”
– Joseph Lampron, EVP & CFO – Peoples Bank, Newton, NC
New materials will be added regularly to build this valuable resource library. To learn more about participating in our programs, and to gain access to these resources for your bank or senior facility, please visit https://shcpfoundation.org/resources/ or contact [email protected] (901) 529-4783.
This issue brief will discuss:
The increased regulatory expectations associated with moving up from being a small bank to an intermediate small bank (ISB) or from an ISB to a large bank.
Strategies community banks can use to successfully manage these growing pains and demonstrate compliance.
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With the approach of Valentine’s Day, we share this advisory from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that warns the public to avoid offers to trade foreign currency contracts (forex), precious metal contracts, and digital assets with people they meet through dating apps or social media, even if the relationship has been building for weeks or months. See more at:
In order to better serve the residents that benefit from our Senior Protection Programs, and the banks that sponsor them, we’ve added two new members to our team. Marnie Stewart joins us as Partner Relationship Manager. In her previous position as an Operations Manager in local government, Marnie worked across multiple departments. Marnie will assist in bringing facilities and banks together to help protect the residents, and aid banks in building those relationships with the seniors in their communities.
Also joining our team is Audrey Thibodeaux, who will serve as a Field Representative in the Southern U.S. Audrey has worked to assist elders for over twenty-five years, in a community hospital setting, as well as in hospital-based home health and skilled nursing programs providing services primarily to elders in the community. Through grant funds, Audrey initiated a number of conferences, training programs, and certifications supporting elderly victims of abuse across the state of Louisiana. She will continue those efforts on our behalf, supporting facilities through assisting with the administration of our programs.
Thanks to Heritage Bank, the residents of Rosedale Green Nursing Home and the Pavilion at Kenton in Covington, KY will live in a safer and even more secure living environment. The bank recently joined with CRA Partners to help vulnerable seniors by funding the Senior Crimestoppers program to protect those who live and work in these local senior care facilities.
CRA Partners, powered by the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation, is a national organization that offers banks federally mandated CRA credit through the operation of the turnkey Senior Crimestoppers program providing safe and secure living environments for our nation’s low to moderate income seniors. Through flexible funding options such as CRA-qualified community development loans, investments or grants, banks provide the program in senior housing facilities, HUD communities and state Veterans homes while garnering positive public relations exposure in their communities.
Crime against the elderly in our society is a longstanding, constant battle that can be reduced and prevented through the operation of the Senior Crimestoppers program in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Senior Crimestoppers is a coordinated set of components that work together to create a zero tolerance to crime platform in senior housing facilities. Components include cash rewards up to $1,000 paid anonymously for information about wrongdoing of any kind, personal lockboxes for the residents, and effective, on-going education and training for staff members and residents. Senior Crimestoppers has reduced all aspects of crime in participating facilities by 95%.
“Senior Crimestoppers is a way for an administrator to further enhance the lives of the residents they serve. They all work very hard to provide safe, secure, comfortable living environments and their desire to implement the program is just one more example of this. Implementing this program does not mean that the facility currently has a crime problem, but that the administrator is proactively finding a way to keep problems from occurring in the future,” said Terry Rooker, president of Senior Crimestoppers.
“Heritage Bank is committed to building up the communities where we operate, and that includes protecting the elderly from scams, fraud and other crime,” said H. David Wallace, Heritage Bank Chairman and CEO.
Heritage Bank was founded in 1990 by a group of local businesspeople alarmed about the shrinking access to community banks able and eager to respond to regional consumer and business banking needs. Today, Heritage Bank is one of the 10 largest banks in greater Cincinnati and recently announcing expansion of commercial operations to Miami Valley. In an age of ongoing consolidation, Heritage Bank is resolute about remaining an independent bank, rooted in the communities where we operate. Heritage Bank, Member FDIC.
About the Senior Crimestoppers program
CRA Partners and Senior Crimestoppers are operated by the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation (SHCPF), headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.
The SHCPF mission is to provide protection and an enhanced quality of life for vulnerable senior housing residents through meaningful turnkey CRA compliance for community focused banks.
Funded exclusively by the banking industry and endorsed by the ICBA and over 30 state bankers associations, the Foundation has developed a low-risk, profitable solution — CRA Partners — for banks of all asset sizes and charter types – to fulfill their federally mandated Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) requirements in the form of qualified loans, investments or grants through the operation of the nationally acclaimed Senior Crimestoppers program.
For more information about Senior Crimestoppers, visit SeniorCrimestoppers.org or call 800-529-9096.
They’re our wise mentors, our caring role models – true examples of what it means to live a better way of life. Our beloved senior citizens have played a crucial role in making us who we are today. That’s why Gate City Bank believes in taking every opportunity to offer them support, especially when it comes to preventing elder abuse in assisted living homes within our communities.
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MEMPHIS, Tennessee, 11/11/21: The Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation (SHCPF) confirms that their Veterans initiative is now supported by 39 community banks in 19 states. The focus of the initiative is to reduce all aspects of crime and provide ongoing, effective crime prevention programs that ensure a safe and secure environment for the residents of Veterans Homes all over the U.S. Protecting the veterans that have served our country is not only an important part of the Foundation’s mission, but is important to community bankers as well. CRA Partners, a subsidiary of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), brings nursing, HUD, and veterans’ homes together with community banks for sponsorship in their assessment area, earning the bank CRA credit.
The Foundation’s mission to combat elder abuse of all types accomplished through the installation of the Senior Crimestoppers program in senior housing facilities, which includes Senior Sentry, an on-line training course on how seniors can avoid financial fraud, a problem that has recently grown by leaps and bounds. According to the 2020 FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center report, total losses for seniors over 60Ys amounted to $1B last year, which was an increase of 30% over 2019. More than 100K victims were affected by scam artists vs. just under 70K in 2019.
So now more than ever, facilities need resources to help their residents, who are increasingly targets for hacking and phishing tactics like romance scams, grandparent scams, and charity or lottery scams. While protection for the Veterans Homes covered by Senior Crimestoppers is a great start, just 22% of the nation’s 176 veterans homes are sponsored. That leaves room for many more community banks to get involved.
Margaret Melo Sullivan of Avidia Bank in Massachusetts had this to say about the bank’s involvement:
“The Veterans Initiative that we chose to participate in with CRA Partners really serves the true intention of community reinvestment. Helping senior citizens in our area, particularly those who have had a career in service to our nation, gives meaning and purpose to earning our CRA credit.”
Crime against the elderly in our society is a longstanding, constant battle that can be reduced and prevented through the operation of the Senior Crimestoppers program. Senior Crimestoppers is a coordinated set of components that work together to create a zero tolerance to crime platform in senior housing facilities. Components include cash rewards up to $1,000 paid anonymously for information about wrongdoing of any kind, personal lockboxes for the residents, and effective, on-going financial education and training for staff members and residents, and their families. Senior Crimestoppers has reduced all aspects of crime in participating facilities by 95%.
“The most valuable asset is the deterrent part,” said Gary Bermeosolo, Administrator at the Nevada State Veterans Home. This Veterans Day is a perfect time for compliance officers to consider the veterans initiative as part of their CRA strategy.
CRA Partners and Senior Crimestoppers are operated by the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation (SHCPF), headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. For over two decades, the SHCPF mission has been to provide protection and an enhanced quality of life for vulnerable senior housing residents through meaningful, turnkey CRA compliance for community focused banks, nationwide. Funded by the banking industry and endorsed by the ICBA and over 30 state bankers associations, the Foundation has developed a low-risk, profitable solution — CRA Partners — for banks of all asset sizes and charter types – to fulfill their federally mandated Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) requirements in the form of qualified loans, investments or grants through the operation of nationally acclaimed elder abuse and crime prevention programs. For more information, visit shcpfoundation.org or call 800-529-9096.
By David Lenoir
The past year has been a trying time for our nation, particularly for America’s elderly population who were disproportionally impacted—both in terms of hospitalizations and deaths—from the coronavirus pandemic. To make matters even more difficult, many of our vulnerable citizens found themselves the victim of scammers pretending to assist with COVID-19 related services and using medical and other ill-gotten personal information to perpetrate fraud and rob them of their life savings.
As relationship lenders and financial first responders at the local level, community banks are in a unique position to help their elder customers navigate these confusing and vulnerable times.
Stats on the Situation
Roughly 20 percent of older Americans fall prey to financial exploitation totaling $3 billion annually or an average of $120,000 per elderly victim, according to a study from the AARP Public Policy Institute. And given that only one out of every 44 financial abuse cases are reported, according to the National Adult Protective Services Association, true losses from elder financial abuse could be north of $35 billion annually.
In many cases, it’s not only the customer who experiences the loss. Every year, financial institutions lose more than $1 billion in deposits due to the exploitation of older Americans, who control two-thirds of U.S. retail bank deposits.
Community Bank Resources to Respond
Community banks are uniquely positioned to help stop the financial exploitation of older Americans as providers of prevention education and information for elderly customers and their adult children, and ICBA has available resources to help.
Senior Crimestoppers and CRA Partners, operated by the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation, provides turnkey content for financial institutions to share with customers. Engaging with this program allows community banks to support secure living environments for seniors while earning CRA credit.
The foundation also offers educational programs on this topic through Community Banker University. The popular Elder Financial Abuse Online Training Course offers a deep-dive into how this type of fraud happens, how to detect it, and most importantly, how to prevent it. This course is available in our training plans and as a stand-alone study.
And in partnership with AARP, ICBA offers a BankSafe online training platform to ICBA member community banks, designed to empower employees with the knowledge and know how to help protect customer assets.
These resources offer key insights to help community banks thwart attacks on their older customers. In tandem with local outreach, community banks can equip seniors with the latest intel on new and prevalent senior-targeted scams including, Medicare and health insurance scams, zoom phishing emails, telemarketing/phone scams, and internet fraud.
Equipping Staff and Customers for the Future
While we can’t solve elder financial exploitation overnight, ongoing education can equip community bank staff and customers to recognize the warning signs and reduce its prevalence. With community banks leading the way, we can help root out the bad apples to stop the spread of this insidious breed of financial crime and ensure older Americans have economic security in their golden years.
Community banks are the on the front lines of this fight and know that as trusted financial partners they hold important keys to solving this critical issue.
David Lenoir is president and CEO of CRA Partners’ Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation, an ICBA subsidiary, based in Memphis, Tenn.
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care just published a guide interpreting the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) revision to their visitation guidance based on the high COVID-19 vaccination rates of nursing home residents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also updated their guidance in March and again in April regarding when long-term care facility residents are required to quarantine. To see the Consumer Voice FAQ document, visit this link .
We are pleased to announce that The Independent Community Bankers Association of Minnesota (ICBM) has recently endorsed CRA Partners as a means to help protect vulnerable senior citizens in area nursing homes, while offering banks the opportunity to earn CRA credit.
We established The Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation a 501(c)(3) in 2000 as a way for banks to earn Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) credit through CRA-qualified loans and investments. The structure of the SHCPF opens a segment of society to service by banks – the residents, family members and staff of nursing homes and senior HUD housing properties. Supporting low-to-moderate income Senior housing residents is an approved CRA activity designated by the federal regulatory agencies, allowing banks to receive CRA credit for supporting Foundation programs in nursing homes, HUD senior housing projects and the nation’s Veterans Nursing Homes. The focus of the SHCPF is to reduce all aspects of crime and provide ongoing, effective crime prevention programs that ensure a safe and secure environment for the residents of senior housing. In part, this is accomplished through the installation of their protection programs: Senior Crimestoppers, Senior Secure, and Senior Sentry.
“As a subsidiary of ICBA, we are delighted to work with an ICBA affiliate association as strong as ICBM to help their members continue to serve their communities,” said Ron Brooks, Vice President, Midwest Region – CRA Partners.
For over 20 years, CRA Partners has helped banks obtain the credit they deserve for safeguarding seniors, all without overhead or administrative hassles. Banks get involved through a community development loan, community development investment or a grant. Their flexible, low-risk funding options also help tailor the program to your bank’s CRA needs.
For more information about the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation or to enroll in the program, visit www.SHCPFoundation.org, contact Ron Brooks at the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation at (901) 500-7538 or email him at [email protected] .