CFPB Report Urges Adoption Of Standards For Marketing Financial Adviser Services To Seniors

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On April 18, the CFPB issued a report that reviews the marketing of investment adviser services to older Americans. The CFPB found that financial advisers use more than 50 different designations to market expertise in financial issues affecting seniors, which the CFPB claims creates confusion in the marketplace. The report includes detailed recommendations for the SEC and Congress related to (i) consumer education and disclosures, (ii) standards for the acquisition of senior designations, (iii) standards for senior designee conduct, and (iv) enforcement related to the misuse of senior designations. Among the recommendations, the CFPB suggests that policymakers consider requiring adviser education and standardized testing prior to obtaining a senior designation. The CFPB also suggests that the SEC and state policymakers consider increasing enforcement of misleading or other improper conduct by a holder of a senior designation and that state policymakers consider providing consumers with a private right of action to seek relief for the improper use of senior designations.