NH Bankers Applaud Enactment of Law to Prevent Financial Exploitation of Seniors and Vulnerable Adults - Governor Sununu Signs SB 385 Into Law

 July 1, 2022

With a broad group of stakeholders on hand, Governor Sununu signed SB 385 into law making the new preventative tools effective immediately. The New Hampshire Bankers Association (NH Bankers) issued the following statement: 

Kristy Merrill, President of NH Bankers said, “Bankers are our front-line workers who are uniquely positioned and often the first to detect financial exploitation of senior citizens and vulnerable adults, whether through the wide range of scams or others trying to take advantage of the elderly. There are too many experiences where people ask banks to help after the scam has occurred. Through SB 385, banks will now be able to put a pause on a transaction when exploitation is suspected, providing precious time to stop financial abuse of those who are vulnerable.”

“I truly believe that providing financial institutions with this tool of last resort will help us further protect our most vulnerable customers.” said Brad Kulacz, Regional Vice President, Branch & Business Development Manager at Merrimack County Savings Bank. 

"This legislation is vitally important in helping to combat financial exploitation of some of our state’s most vulnerable citizens and we thank Senator Bradley for leading this effort, the legislature and the many stakeholders for their support,” said Kristy Merrill.

Background:
SB 385 allows for the delaying of transactions to help combat financial exploitation. The bill passed the House and Senate with strong, bipartisan support. The proposal mirrors SB 252, a similar bill passed in 2019 allowing Broker-Dealers to place a 15-day hold on transactions.  NH Bankers worked closely with the State Attorney General’s office, the NH State Banking Department, and Health & Human Services to craft the proposal.

 


 
Governor Chris Sununu signing SB 385 into law with many in attendance including Majority Leader Jeb Bradley who was a prime sponsor, and Kristy Merrill, President of NH Bankers Association. Also representing New Hampshire’s banking industry was Joan Gile, President and CEO, Piscataqua Saving Bank; Frank Teas, President and CEO, Millyard Bank; Rick Wallis (retired President and CEO of Piscataqua Savings Bank); Maureen Meletis, VP, Program Manager, Pentucket Bank; Brad Kulacz, Regional Vice President, Merrimack County Savings Bank.