Text as changed by the 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017
Italic faced type indicates amendments by the 85th Legislature

Addition of Section 45 contained in House Bill 3921 that becomes effective on September 1, 2017:

Sec. 45.  Protection of Vulnerable Adults From Financial Exploitation.

A.  In this section:

(1)  "Department" means the Department of Family and Protective Services.

(2)  "Exploitation," "financial exploitation," and "vulnerable adult" have the meanings by Section 280.001, Finance Code.

(3)  "Securities professional" means an agent, an investment adviser representative, or person who serves in a supervisory or compliance capacity for a dealer or investment
adviser.

B.  If a securities professional or a person serving in a legal capacity for a dealer or adviser has cause to believe that financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult is an account holder with the dealer or investment adviser has occurred, is or has been attempted, the securities professional or person serving in a legal capacity for the dealer or investment adviser shall notify the dealer or investment adviser of the suspected financial exploitation.

C.  If a dealer or investment adviser is notified of suspected financial exploitation under Subsection B of this section or otherwise has cause to believe that financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult who is an account holder with the dealer or investment adviser has occurred, is occurring, or has been attempted, the dealer or investment adviser shall assess the suspected financial exploitation and submit a report to the Securities Commissioner, in accordance with rules adopted under Subsection N of this section, and the department  in the same manner as and containing the same information required to be included in a report under Section 48.051, Human Resources Code. The dealer or investment adviser shall submit the reports required by this subsection not later than the earlier of:

(1)  the date the dealer or investment adviser completes the dealer's or investment adviser's assessment of the suspected financial exploitation; or

(2)  the fifth business day after the date the dealer or investment adviser is notified of the suspected financial exploitation under Subsection B of this section or otherwise has cause to believe that the suspected financial exploitation has occurred, is occurring, or has been attempted.

D.  A dealer or investment adviser who submits a report to the department of suspected financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult under Subsection C of this section is not required to make an additional report of suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation under Section 48.051, Human Resources Code, for the same conduct constituting the reported suspected financial exploitation.

E.  Each dealer and investment adviser shall adopt internal policies, programs, plans, or procedures for the securities professionals or persons serving in a legal capacity for the dealer or investment adviser to make the notification required under Subsection B of this section and for the dealer or investment adviser to conduct the assessment and submit the reports required under Subsection C of this section. The policies, programs, plans, or procedures adopted under this subsection may authorize the dealer or investment adviser to report the suspected financial exploitation to other appropriate agencies and entities in addition to the Securities Commissioner and the department, including the attorney general, the Federal Trade Commission, and the appropriate law enforcement agency.  

F.  If a dealer or investment adviser submits reports of suspected financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult to the Securities Commissioner and the department under Subsection C of this section, the dealer or investment adviser may at the time the dealer or investment adviser submits the reports also notify a third party reasonably associated with the vulnerable adult of the suspected financial exploitation, unless the dealer or investment adviser suspects the third party of financial exploitation of the vulnerable adult.

G.  Notwithstanding any other law, if a dealer or investment adviser submits reports of suspected financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult to the Securities Commissioner and the department under Subsection C of this section, the dealer or investment adviser:

(1)  may place a hold on any transaction that:

(A)  involves an account of the vulnerable adult; and

(B)  the dealer or investment adviser has cause to believe is related to the suspected financial exploitation; and

(2)  must place a hold on any transaction involving an account of the vulnerable adult if the hold is requested by the Securities Commissioner, the department, or a law enforcement agency.

H.  Subject to Subsection I of this section, a hold placed on any transaction under Subsection G of this section expires on the 10th business day after the date the dealer or investment adviser submits the reports under Subsection C of this section.

I.  A dealer or investment adviser may extend a hold placed on any transaction under Subsection G of this section for a period not to exceed 30 business days after the expiration of the period prescribed by Subsection H of this section if requested by a state or federal agency or a law enforcement agency investigating the suspected financial exploitation. The dealer or investment adviser may also petition a court to extend a hold placed on any transaction under Subsection G of this section beyond the period prescribed by Subsection H of this section. A court may enter an order extending or shortening a hold or providing other relief.

J.  Each dealer and investment adviser shall adopt internal policies, programs, plans, or procedures for placing a hold on a transaction involving an account of a vulnerable adult under Subsection G of this section.

K.  A securities professional or person serving in a legal capacity for a dealer or investment adviser who makes a notification under Subsection B of this section, a dealer or investment adviser that submits a report under Subsection C of this section or makes a notification to a third party under Subsection F of this section, or a securities professional or person serving in a legal capacity who or dealer or investment adviser that testifies or otherwise participates in a judicial proceeding arising from a notification or report is immune from any civil or criminal liability arising from the notification, report, testimony, or participation in the judicial proceeding, unless the securities professional, person serving in a legal capacity for the dealer or investment adviser, or dealer or investment adviser acted in bad faith or with a malicious purpose.

L.  A dealer or investment adviser that in good faith and with the exercise of reasonable care places or does not place a hold on any transaction under Subsection G(1) of this section is immune from civil or criminal liability or disciplinary action resulting from the action or failure to act.

M.  To the extent permitted by state or federal law, a dealer or investment adviser, on request, shall provide access to or copies of records relevant to the suspected financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult to the Securities Commissioner, the department, a law enforcement agency, or a prosecuting attorney's office, either as part of a report to the Securities Commissioner, department, law enforcement agency, or prosecuting attorney's office or at the request of the Securities Commissioner, department, law enforcement agency, or prosecuting attorney's office in accordance with an investigation.

N.  The Board by rule shall prescribe the form and content of the report required to be submitted by a dealer or investment adviser to the Securities Commissioner under Subsection C of this section.

The full text of the bill listed here may be obtained on the Texas Legislature Online website.