McMaster signs bill protecting seniors from financial exploitation

Politics

FILE – In this Jan. 27, 2021 file photo, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about vaccine distribution and abortion during a news conference in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins, file)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — Banks, credit unions and other financial services will now be able to decline, delay or report transactions the agencies suspect are financially exploiting vulnerable adults or seniors, under a bill signed into law Wednesday. 

Gov. Henry McMaster hosted a ceremonial signing S. 425, which also allows financial institutions to hold on disbursements for a month while a financial exploitation report is investigated.

“Taking advantage of vulnerable adults for financial gain happens all too often in the country,” McMaster said in a press release. “Enabling our financial institutions to take action and fight back is an important step in protecting South Carolinians from exploitation and will help to ensure their financial security.”

Under the bill, institutions “acting in good faith” will be granted immunity from criminal, civil or administrative liability for declining or delaying transactions if they report suspected financial exploitation.

Seniors under the bill are identified as people who are at least 55 years old. Vulnerable adults are those who are at least 18 years old who have a physical or mental condition that substantially impairs them for managing their own care. 

South Carolina is the 32th state to pass similar bills.

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