Because municipal bonds so often are held by senior investors, the MSRB recognizes the importance of protecting these investors, whose age, accumulated wealth and potential for diminished capacity increase their vulnerability to financial fraud at the hands of unscrupulous financial professionals, caregivers and family members.
The MSRB’s rules are designed to protect all investors, including senior and vulnerable investors. For example, the MSRB’s fair practice rules require that dealers determine that the potential municipal investment is suitable for the investor. Other financial regulators also have rules designed to protect investors, and some, including the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), have taken steps to create rules specifically addressing the financial exploitation of seniors and other vulnerable adults. It is important to note that sales of certain municipal securities, such as interests in ABLE programs that are primarily are offered to vulnerable investors, also may be subject to MSRB investor protection rules and the protections of the proposed FINRA rules.
Beyond the protection afforded by rules, the MSRB is proactively working with federal and state regulators to better understand the needs of senior investors and provide resources to assist these investors and their financial professionals in detecting and reporting fraud. In August 2016, the MSRB hosted a panel as part of its Municipal Securities Regulator Summit exploring investor protection issues for seniors and vulnerable adults and discussed regulatory efforts to address this important topic. The MSRB will continue to explore avenues to protect senior investors and other vulnerable populations.
MSRB Resources and Tools for Municipal Bond Investors
The MSRB provides a number of educational materials and resources to help investors stay informed about their bonds, understand the MSRB rules in place to protect them and report any disputes with their financial professionals.
Additional Resources related to Senior Investor Protection
The following organizations provide resources and tools for senior investors and their financial professionals to identify and report exploitation and fraudulent practices.
The MSRB takes no responsibility for the content contained on any site to which it provides links and exercises no control over any changes that may occur to the content on those sites. The MSRB does not make any guarantee with regard to these resources’ accuracy, completeness or suitability.
Resources for Senior Investors
Resources for Financial Professionals