Strengthening financial literacy and fraud prevention; banking services for older Canadians
In recognition of Seniors Month in several provinces across the country this June, the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) and its members celebrate the valuable contributions that older adults make to our lives and our communities. With the ongoing increase in the senior population in Canada, there is a growing emphasis on equipping this vital demographic with the right financial tools for their future.
“Seniors form a substantial and expanding customer base for banks in Canada,” says Anthony G. Ostler, President and CEO of the Canadian Bankers Association. “Our banking sector remains fully dedicated to addressing the unique needs of every Canadian demographic and adapting our services to meet their changing financial circumstances at various life stages.”
Financial literary seminars for seniors across Canada
The banking industry has long recognized that it has a role to play strengthening the financial literacy skills of all Canadians. That’s why the CBA administers Your Money Seniors, a free, non-commercial seminar program developed in collaboration with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), for Canadians entering – or already in – retirement.
“Financial literacy is a lifelong journey and a vital skill at any age,” adds Ostler. “Promoting financial literacy is integral to the CBA’s mandate. Your Money Seniors has emerged as a vital pillar in our industry’s efforts to boost financial literacy among Canadian seniors.”
The program aligns with and reinforces the FCAC’s National Strategy for Financial Literacy and covers essential information on how seniors can:
- protect themselves against financial abuse
- spot the signs of financial fraud
- make the most of their money in retirement
Tailoring Banking Services for Seniors
Our country’s banks recognize their critical role in the lives of seniors and offer many services and accounts uniquely suited for this customer segment.
Accounts – Several banks offer account packages designed specifically for seniors, including low-fee and no-fee accounts. These unique accounts offer regular transactions such as withdrawals, deposits, transfers, bill payments and cheque-writing privileges. Guaranteed Income Supplement beneficiaries are also eligible to have the fees waived for the low-fee account.
Power of Attorney – Banks make basic information about POAs and joint deposit accounts available to their customers. They also train their employees on how to share this information. If there are more complicated questions or issues, the banks have internal resources to help their staff.
Retirement planning – Banks provide tools to help seniors and near-seniors plan and manage their income to help make the most of their money in retirement. Banks can also provide advice and resources to help those seniors who might be heading into retirement with debt.
Fraud prevention information for older Canadians
The CBA recently launched three fraud prevention toolkits to help Canadians protect themselves against common and emerging scams. Created in collaboration with the Government of Canada’s Get Cyber Safe campaign, the seniors-focused toolkit includes a fraud prevention checklist and tips to avoid ruses such as phone fraud, the grandparent scam and tech support scams. Further, it provides recommendations on how to choose strong passwords and offers information on how to recognize and prevent financial abuse. Details: cba.ca/fraud-prevention-toolkit-older-adults.
The Code of Conduct to protect seniors
Banks supported the creation of the Code of Conduct for the Delivery of Banking Services to Seniors. The principles outlined in the Code align with and reinforce existing initiatives and resources used by banks and their staff to respond to the unique, evolving needs of senior customers. This includes:
- Accounts and services developed with seniors in mind
- Tips on how to avoid financial abuse, frauds and scams
- General information on Powers of Attorney, joint accounts and retirement planning
- Staff training and communications tools
The Code reinforces banks’ longstanding commitment to keeping seniors and their money safe and ensuring inclusive, responsive and trusted access to banking products and services. Details: cba.ca/voluntary-commitments-and-codes-of-conduct
Helpful resources for older adults
Digital literacy programming and resources
Protecting Yourself from Financial Abuse and printable handout
Powers of Attorney: What consumers need to know and printable handout
Joint Accounts and printable handout
Protecting against title fraud
Your Money Seniors
This article was originally sourced from www.newswire.ca