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Mental incapacity: the next big financial scandal

The financial industry has failed to put into place checks to protect vulnerable clients from themselves and from abuse for almost a decade

6 October 2015

Although the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) is now almost eight years old, few (if any) of the major financial institutions appear to have integrated it into their day to day processes, leaving incapacitated clients at risk of abuse and the financial institutions at risk of major litigation.

Case study

I was recently asked to assess a lady with a diagnosis of dementia. She had been admitted to the care home six months earlier with acute confusion. Now, 6 months later it was felt there had been a significant improvement in her mental capacity, and I was to check her ability to manage her property and financial affairs.

In short, despite her 'significant improvement' she still believed it was 1978, and a pint of milk was worth 15 pence. When asked about the price of a new TV, she replied: 'Now you're trying to tr...

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