What is financial abuse (Definition)
Attentive to the needs of our customers, Actif Santé Financière takes the detection of financial abuse very seriously. We advise you to contact your financial advisor immediately if you have any doubts or if you feel financially vulnerable.
Here’s how the Quebec government defines financial abuse: « Material or financial abuse refers to the fraudulent, illegal, unauthorized or dishonest obtaining or use of a person’s assets or legal documents, as well as the withholding of information or financial or legal misinformation.».
How can you spot financial abuse?
There are a few clues that can alert the financial advisor to a potential situation of financial abuse. To do so, the financial advisor must pay particular attention to the situation in which his client finds himself
Difficulty understanding and managing finances
If the customer has difficulty expressing or understanding his or her financial needs, this may or may not be a language barrier.
The financial advisor must establish a climate of trust while remaining attentive to his client’s needs. They must also take the time to explain finances to their clients.
The advisor must also recognize signs of vulnerability in his client, for example, if he lives alone or isolated, shows signs of fear or fright, or refuses to meet his financial advisor alone.
Changes in financial behavior
Any significant change in a customer’s financial habits should be noted and identified in the file.
This may include an unusual frequency of withdrawals, a sudden change of banking institution, or a signature that appears to be forged or imitated.
How can financial abuse among the elderly or vulnerable be prevented in Quebec?
The first things to do when in doubt are to identify signs of vulnerability in customers, listen actively and ask questions, so as to direct them to the appropriate resources for their situation.
Listening to customers
Financial health also means listening carefully not only to the customer’s personal and financial situation, but also to his concerns, goals and fears.
The financial advisor must take note of the customer’s fears and concerns, so as to address them appropriately through his or her interventions and advice.
Financial specialists must adjust to their clients’ pace, answer their questions and, above all, take an interest in them and their understanding of their finances. He or she must take the time to explain information in simple terms, so that the client understands the implications of his or her decisions.
Through his questions, the financial advisor has a role to play in identifying signs of vulnerability, so that he can adapt his advice accordingly.
Personalized service at Actif santé financière
At Actif Santé Financière, it’s important to make our customers aware of their financial situation, in the event of illness or if they are no longer able to manage their own finances. We work with our customers to help them avoid financial abuse or mistreatment, or finding themselves in a vulnerable situation.
Sound financial advice
We are proactive and attentive in identifying such situations. Our financial advisors can also direct their clients to resources or organizations that can provide them with appropriate support.
Countering financial abuse among vulnerable people
At Actif Santé Financière, we have developed an action plan to follow the practical guide for the financial services industry. The financial health of our customers is assessed on a global and contextual basis, so that we can offer tailor-made support to ensure their financial well-being.
If you would like to discuss your situation with one of our specialized financial advisors, contact us today!