The firm is also the first in the industry to sponsor SIFMA's Senior Investor Protection Toolkit, aligning with its efforts to advocate for vulnerable and aging clients
MINNEAPOLIS, MN, Dec. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ - RBC Wealth Management – U.S. announced today the launch of its Client Risk Prevention Division, an effort designed to better arm employees with the resources and training to prevent, detect and report suspected financial abuse. In conjunction with the launch of the new division, the firm signed on as the first sponsor of SIFMA's Senior Investor Protection Toolkit initiative.
Financial exploitation costs Americans almost $3 billion dollars each year, according to SIFMA, the national trade organization representing the securities industry. And this figure, based on the small number of cases reported in the media, doesn't reflect the magnitude of the issue, as only 1 in 44 cases is ever reported to the authorities.
"Anyone can become the target of financial fraud," said Michael Armstrong, CEO of RBC Wealth Management-U.S. "Despite the prevalence, it's not something that most people want to talk about. But open conversations about the risks, the signs and what we can all do to prevent financial abuse are critical to addressing the issue. In launching the Client Risk Protection Division and sponsoring SIFMA's new tool kits, we hope to open that dialogue not only with our clients, but with the broader community."
While FINRA recently enacted new rules aimed at protecting clients from financial exploitation, RBC Wealth Management's efforts will extend well beyond those requirements. In addition to receiving robust and proactive training and resources to help them root out and combat this abuse, RBC financial advisors will integrate these topics into their interaction with clients, including annual reviews and the wealth planning process. The team will also work with the broader communities where RBC's advisors live and work, creating new partnerships with community resource groups and local law enforcement agencies, with the goal of sharing knowledge and building awareness.
"We believe it is our responsibility to do everything in our power to preserve and protect the dignity and financial wellbeing of our clients," said Jen McGarry, who heads the Client Risk Prevention Division at RBC Wealth Management - US. "Our financial advisors – and all the employees that support them – are in a unique position to help mitigate the risk of financial exploitation. By establishing this dedicated division and supporting SIFMA in its Senior Investor Protection Initiative, we're taking proactive steps to address a very real and growing concern."
Supported by SIFMA's member firms, the Senior Investment Protection Toolkit will serve as an informational resource to help educate and protect elder investors as well as those who serve to support and protect them. RBC Wealth Management – U.S.' sponsorship will provide special support for distribution in the Minnesota, Texas, California, New York City and Washington, D.C. markets.
In addition, RBC Wealth Management – U.S. has dedicated significant resources to dementia research and supporting individuals who struggle with the disease. Earlier this year, the firm announced a $25,000 sponsorship of the Women's Brain Health Initiative, in addition to training for its 1,800 advisors to help them better understand the signs and symptoms of dementia, particularly in the context of how individuals may be managing or mismanaging their finances.
"Protecting our clients from fraud and financial exploitation is about more than just preserving and strengthening our professional relationships," McGarry added. "What it really comes down to is doing the right thing."
About RBC Wealth Management – U.S.
In the United States, RBC Wealth Management operates as a division of RBC Capital Markets, LLC. Founded in 1909, RBC Capital Markets, LLC. is a member of the New York Stock Exchange, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, and other major securities exchanges. RBC Wealth Management has $344 billion in total client assets with approximately 1,800 financial advisors operating in 200 locations in 42 states.