Although the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has not yet celebrated its second birthday, it already has developed a reputation for taking an eagle-eye focus on consumer concerns. Initially, the CFPB's primary emphasis has been on uncovering consumer credit abuses and simplifying mortgage disclosures. But the agency recently took aim at the one area in the investment/insurance world where Dodd-Frank law granted it jurisdiction – issues affecting older Americans.

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In late April, CFPB released a comprehensive 63-page report that is well worth every advisor's time: Senior Designations for Financial Advisors: Reducing Consumer Confusion and Risk. Even if you don't use one of the more than 50 senior designations the report catalogues, you will find useful information to share with clients including:

  1. The need to look behind the label of professional designations and evaluate training standards and accreditation;
  2. Common tactics unscrupulous advisors use to trick seniors; and
  3. Recommendations for improving awareness of seniors, including proposals made by AARP, the American College, NAIFA and the CFP Board, along with the CFPB itself.

The report is available for download.

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See also: Insurers to Feds: You have no jurisdiction

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