To help thwart the rising use of misleading, fraudulent and deceptive designations and certifications, the CFP Board is urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to create a ratings system for such credentials.
In a comment letter on Monday, the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards told the CFPB that fraudulent certifications are mostly used to exploit seniors. “The financial exploitation of older Americans is a pervasive national consumer protection issue, and there are no effective resources on the federal level that allow for seniors to evaluate certifications and designations or deter their misuse,” CFP Board CEO Kevin Keller wrote.
The CFP Board’s letter is in response to the consumer bureau’s request for information as part of its fact-finding mission on elder abuse, which the bureau launched on June 15.
Richard Cordray, director of CFPB, wrote in his blog that Congress gave the CFPB’s Office for Older Americans a “broad mandate” to look out for that group’s financial interests. As part of that work, he said, “we are keenly focused on the important issue of financial abuse and exploitation of the elderly.”
Cordray cited a recent study that found that seniors lost at least $2.9 billion to financial exploitation in 2010. “Unfortunately, it is a growing trend,” he said. “From 2008 to 2010, there was a 12% increase in the amount of money scammed from seniors.”