Maine Credit Unions Praised For Leadership Efforts On Protecting Elderly From Financial Exploitation


Thursday, March 21, 2013

For many years, Maine's credit unions have been at the forefront of helping protect the state's elderly consumers from financial exploitation.  Several recent initiatives have reinforced that credit unions remain actively involved in assisting in these on-going efforts.

Recently, Gail Richardson, President/CEO of Midcoast FCU, based in Bath, and a member of the Maine Credit Union League's Board of Directors, was part of an on-air discussion facilitated by Maine Public Radio on what is being done to combat the financial exploitation of the elderly in Maine.  Richardson, who is also actively involved in the Sagadahoc County Elder Abuse Task Force, was the only representative from the financial services industry to participate in the radio discussion.  She spoke about a heightened awareness that credit unions and tellers have taken on this issue, and noted that "we are often the first line of defense in protecting an elderly member.  We stand ready to help in any way we can because, ultimately, it is about protecting our members' money." 

In addition to Richardson's role, the Maine Credit Union League is an active member of the Maine Council on Elder Abuse Prevention.  Quincy Hentzel, Director of Governmental Affairs for the League, has played a significant role in leading the discussion on what more can be done to help, and the League has assisted in developing a new brochure to raise awareness about the issue of elder financial exploitation. 

The League also testified in support of legislation that would enhance efforts to protect the elderly from financial exploitation.  The bill is still being considered by the Maine Legislature.