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May 26, 2005

For More Information, Contact:
Hema Sareen Mohan at (650) 688-6384


SACRAMENTO - State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) today announced that SB 1018, his bill to make bank, savings and loan, and credit union employees mandated reporters of elder financial abuse, has advanced through the Senate on a 24-14 vote.  It will be heard next in the Assembly. 

SB 1018 would require that bank employees who suspect elder financial abuse immediately notify Adult Protective Services (APS), which investigates reports of elder abuse, or law enforcement authorities.  Bank employees would join other mandated reporters of elder abuse including health care professionals, social workers, nursing home workers, and clergy.  As with other mandated reporters, bank employees would not be liable if their suspicions prove unfounded. 

“This bill is a common sense solution to a pervasive problem,” said Simitian.  “Elder financial abuse requires early notice and a timely response.  Bank employees are in the best position to report financial abuse as soon as it happens.  It’s just that simple.”   

The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging reports that 84% of elder abuse cases are unreported due to victims’ fear, embarrassment, and lack of capacity.  As California’s elder population multiplies—growing from 4.8 million to an estimated 6.6 million by 2020—financial abuse is expected to become even more prevalent. 

Simitian’s SB 1018 has generated widespread support from law enforcement, senior groups and county welfare officials.  The bill has met strong opposition, however, from the California Bankers Association and the California Credit Union League.

Simitian has expressed frustration and disappointment with continued opposition from the banking industry, given significant amendments to his initial proposal.  “California banks and credit unions continue to take a ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ approach to elder financial abuse.  What a shame,” he said.

To learn more about SB 1018, visit .