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94% of 45-70 year olds don’t think financial service providers are doing enough to protect older people from financial abuse.

10th October 2021

94% of 45-70 year olds don’t think financial service providers are doing enough to protect older people from financial abuse.

Hodge has produced resources to help intermediaries spot clients who could be at risk of financial abuse

Hodge is calling on intermediaries and brokers to be alert to the financial abuse of their elderly clients after new research reveals 94% of 45–70-year-olds believe financial service companies need to do more to protect older people from this kind of abuse.

New research from Hodge and Hourglass, the charity calling time on the harm, abuse and exploitation of older people, surveyed more than 2,000 people aged between 45-70, about financial fraud and older people.

The research found:

  • More than a quarter (27%) know or care for an older person who has been a target of an online scam to access their finances in the last year
  • Around 14% know or care for an older person who has been the victim of economic abuse by a person they should be able to trust
  • Around 8 in 10 people think older people are more vulnerable to economic abuse and scams because they don't have the skills and knowledge to manage their finances online and keep themselves safe
  • Almost 80 % believe older people need to be more protected from financial abuse.
  • Nearly 70% of respondents are worried about the closure of physical bank branches.

The results have prompted Hodge and Hourglass to launch the Safer Ageing Initiative, to help older people and those who care for them keep their finances safer online.

Hodge has published tools and advice to help brokers and financial advisors identify the signs that might indicate one of their older clients could be a victim of economic abuse or vulnerable to financial harm, and also what can be done if they suspect their clients might be at risk.

David Landen, CEO of Hodge, is calling for all brokers and independent financial advisors to work alongside Hodge and other banks to help fight financial abuse online: “Brokers and intermediaries are at the sharp end of these client relationships and often are the only people who meet face to face with these elderly clients to talk about financial issues.

“Our research has found many people believe their family members have been scammed financially – but familial fraud is also a real issue with the elderly, and at Hodge we believe  brokers and IFAs have a real duty to look out for signs of financial abuse. That is why we have produced online guides to help them identify possible cases.”

David added: “As a digital first organisation and a financial services provider for older people, we have a great platform and a responsibility to increase awareness and take action on this specific aspect of the economic abuse of older people and we’re delighted to be taking our first steps in understanding and tackling economic abuse.

“As more aspects of our lives go digital only, older people without the right skills, support and access are increasingly being left open to exploitation. This research really brings home why it is so important we wake up as an industry and do more to address one of the most prevalent forms of abuse towards older people, economic abuse.”

Economic abuse is one of the most widespread forms of abuse of older people. Between 2017 and 2019, 39% of all calls to Hourglass’s helpline were about economic abuse and in 2020, at least £13 million was reported as stolen, defrauded, or coerced from older victims. The charity believes this is only the tip of the iceberg as so many instances of this abuse go unreported.

CEO of Hourglass, Richard Robinson, says: “Economic abuse is where someone in a position of trust interferes in an older person’s ability to acquire, use or maintain their finances. With the increasing digitisation of our finances, many older people are finding themselves without the skills and support to manage their money and at greater risk of this type of abuse.

He adds: “Some of the calls we get are heart-breaking. We are hearing reports of people losing their homes and savings as a result of this abuse. We’re working with Hodge to raise awareness of this often under reported issue and to try to do something to reduce the risks for older people.”

For more information please contact:
Kath Chadwick, Lynsey Walden or Rachel Mainwaring at Front Door Communications on [email protected]/[email protected] and 029 20 020360.

All figures, unless otherwise stated as being from Hourglass’ helpline data, are from an online survey conducted between 6th – 13th September 2021. Total sample size was 2,013 45–70-year-olds from across the UK.
About Hodge:
Hodge is an independently owned group based in Cardiff, offering a range of personal mortgage products, savings products to private and commercial clients, as well as lending to commercial clients nationwide.
Over 85,000 customers across the UK trust Hodge to support them because of its years of expertise and knowledge in the markets it serves. Hodge design products with customers in mind, keeping things simple and straightforward.
The Hodge Foundation, a charity supporting the welfare, medical, academic and educational areas own 79% of Hodge.
More information can be found on the website
Follow @HodgeBank on Twitter
About Hourglass:
Hourglass is the UK’s only charity focused on the abuse and neglect of older people whose mission is simple: end the harm, abuse and exploitation of older people in the UK.
The charity has nearly 30 years’ experience as Action on Elder Abuse and over that time its work has touched tens of thousands of people, shaped government policy and amplified the issue in national press.
The charity staffs a free-to-call helpline which is a lifeline for older men, women and their families suffering from the five forms of abuse: physical, psychological, financial, sexual or neglect.

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