Thank you very much. It's a pleasure to be here and to answer the question.
Regarding elder abuse, we define financial abuse—and it is the most prevalent form of elder abuse—as being someone who is close to you or a family member taking money from you. Financial abuse is generally done by someone who is close to you.
What are we doing about it? At FCAC, we work with the financial industry. We regulate the banks. We encourage the financial institutions to provide to their clients information about what financial abuse and fraud look like, but also what to do about them, so about complaint handling.
In terms of arming people with information concerning how they can identify and understand it, we have worked with several members of my steering committee. The Canadian Bankers Association has a program that we co-developed called Your Money Seniors. It has three modules. One is a module around budgeting, just helping people manage money in their older years. The other two are on fraud and financial abuse.
I've participated in sessions with seniors. It's remarkable that when a financial professional, who has to be non-commercial in nature to provide the information, starts talking and opening up to people about what fraud and financial abuse looks like, people start talking and realizing that they might have been victims. It concludes with what you should do about it, which is to identify the issue to your financial institution and report it to the police.
As a second example of working with the industry, we worked with—it's a new name—the Canadian Credit Union Association. We helped them develop a program called Recognize, Review, and Respond. It's a training program for their front-line staff, and they've delivered it to credit unions all across Canada. It includes videos. It's a way to train financial institutions' front-line staff to recognize when someone might be a victim, to put a stop to it, and they have formal reporting mechanisms.
These are just some examples of working with the industry and using our own content to help raise awareness that this is a problem.
One last thing is that we worked with ESDC and the provinces and territories to create a booklet about powers of attorney and joint accounts. It's an opportunity to raise awareness that there are powerful tools out there that can cause harm to someone if used incorrectly. In the case of a joint account—two owners of assets within an account—if someone is a victim of financial abuse, at times people could withdraw money. Again the opportunity was with the provinces and territories to raise awareness about these tools—powers of attorney and joint accounts—so that people recognize that these tools can be used to harm them, so that they understand better those tools.