A mandatory national online register for Power of Attorney documents - something we’ve been campaigning for, could be a step closer.
It follows an agreement by the nation’s Attorneys-General to pursue reform in the area of financial decision-making.
The focus will be on a mandatory national register, consideration of enhanced safeguarding provisions and access to justice arrangements.
Power of Attorney laws would be the same across the country. This would help protect older Australians and better verify Power of Attorney documents.
National Seniors Australia is partnering with the banking industry, which leads a coalition of support for reform.
The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has welcomed the news as a “big leap forward to combating elder financial abuse”.
ABA CEO Anna Bligh said the national register would empower bank branch staff, who are at the front line of detection of elder financial abuse.
“A mandatory national online register will help bank staff check to ensure a Power of Attorney is valid and up to date when a customer comes into a branch to complete transactions on someone else’s behalf.”
However, Ms Bligh said the campaign still has a long way to go.
“We need to see this register established as quickly as possible, completely standardised Power of Attorney laws across the country and a safe place to report abuse to help tackle elder financial abuse.”
Did you know that as many as 185,000 older people in Australia experience some form of abuse each year?
Elder abuse comes in many forms. You can help us put an end to it.