ABN AMRO and stichting SVOW join forces to fight financial abuse of senior citizens

Press release -

ABN AMRO and stichting Samen Veilig Ouder Worden (SVOW), a Dutch foundation that protects senior citizens against financial abuse, will work together to prevent seniors from becoming victims of financial abuse. These vulnerable people are cheated out of tens of thousands of euros a year, often by people in their immediate surroundings.

Seniors often victims of financial abuse

Older people, as well as people requiring care, are often dependent on others for support. These people are vulnerable and need to be able to trust their carers and to know that their money and valuables are in safe hands with them. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Every year an estimated 30,000 older people are victims of theft and financial fraud. In 85% of the cases, they are cheated by somebody in their immediate surroundings.

The SVOW foundation wants to reduce this percentage and help restore trust  among the victims. SVOW offers a wide range of solutions designed to prevent and eradicate financial abuse, including providing information, mediation services and follow-up care.

ABN AMRO employs 14 specially trained coaches who are based throughout the Netherlands. The coaches visit senior clients at their homes or provide assistance with their day-to-day banking affairs by telephone, webcam and email. This service saves the client a visit to the bank branch. ABN AMRO’s coaches are trained to recognise possible signs of financial abuse.

SVOW and ABN AMRO will combine their knowledge and experience to prevent and eradicate this form of financial fraud.

Thérèse van der Velden, Chair of the SVOW foundation: "We welcome ABN AMRO as the first banking institution to become a member of the SVOW CLUB. The financial industry has an important role to play in fighting financial abuse, as it can detect it at an early stage. We are pleased that ABN AMRO is taking the lead within the industry to ensure that victims of financial abuse receive the help they need.”

Frans van der Horst, CEO of Retail Banking at ABN AMRO: "We are delighted to partner with stichting Samen Veilig Ouder Worden. Our coaches work with seniors every day who are becoming increasingly dependent on others. This makes them vulnerable to financial abuse. This partnership will enable our coaches to help clients conduct their banking affairs more independently for longer and to refer them to the help they need more effectively should something go wrong.”

Identify and refer

ABN AMRO regularly comes into contact with older clients who have been a victim of fraud committed by somebody they trust. For instance, they give their bank card and PIN code to family members or carers who do their grocery shopping. The person uses the card to withdraw extra money or to buy groceries for themselves, abusing the trust the older person has placed in them. Many victims contact the ABN AMRO Fraud department. ABN AMRO’s collaboration with SVOW will enable the bank’s employees to help clients more effectively, by referring them to SVOW for follow-up care and offering help in restoring the relationship.

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