Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Former MSE Paloma
    • By Former MSE Paloma 4th Feb 15, 11:41 AM
    • 526Posts
    • 245Thanks
    Former MSE Paloma
    MSE News: Complaints over banks' handling of power of attorney rising
    • #1
    • 4th Feb 15, 11:41 AM
    MSE News: Complaints over banks' handling of power of attorney rising 4th Feb 15 at 11:41 AM
    Bank staff are adding to the distress of people registering power of attorney, says the Financial Ombudsman ...

    Read the full story:

    Complaints over banks' handling of power of attorney rising




    Click reply below to discuss. If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply. If you aren’t sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.

Page 1
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 4th Feb 15, 1:43 PM
    • 942 Posts
    • 326 Thanks
    agarnett
    • #2
    • 4th Feb 15, 1:43 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Feb 15, 1:43 PM
    It is about time that banks were forced to re-employ qualified senior staff locally to actually own the more difficult problems of servicing ordinary customers throughout lifetimes.

    The way banks were handling deceased customers' affairs was abysmal a few years ago, and there is not much evidence to suggest that after they started outsourcing it (a right royal cop-out) that it has got much better recently.

    The Financial Ombudsman's latest advice on Power of Attorney handling is laughably shallow, and that is quite likely because the person that approved it might well be a dyed in the wool bank staffer taking a career turn in the Ombudsman's office before they bog off back into banking with inside information on how to play against the customer and the Ombudsman.

    It is sickening how everything is described as a "process" when what is actually meant is that there is merely a set of online written instructions for a local bank staff to read when unsure how to tackle a task of this nature which they may only deal with a few times a year, and which instructions are barely a step up from the sort they used to issue for constructing flat-pack MFI furniture. You or I could read it and then sit down and advise a customer on it with an equally broad spectrum of results.

    The bank staff might read it 5 minutes before the appointment, or more likely during it, and after you've gone for a few minutes before fudging it to shift the paperwork if they are not sure.

    At least if you made a muck up of reading instructions to put together your own MFI furniture, you had to look at it yourself until you threw it out as something less than appealing.

    In 2015, local front line bank staff don't look at anything beyond the day they tackle it (or not). Every day is a new day, and yesterday's problems belong to some faceless department to whom they posted yesterday's work in the internal mail (or not).

    And don't expect today's bank managers to step in an offer any real help - they are nothing but jumped up sales supervisors willing to do whatever is the bank's bidding from one day month or year to the next. 'The complete chameleon' would be a good description of most we have now. It's a survival tactic, and an ok living can be had if you keep your bosses happy with form filling, and chivvy and discipline your staff sufficiently to make whatever targets were dreamed up last week, preferably following the set scripts and processes of course. There are no targets on well handled Powers of Attorney, I'll wager!

    I sometimes despair at how awful people like the FOS and FCA are at changing anything for the better other than scratching the surface when real problems like this become unavoidably conspicuous. No wonder it always takes years for any real change to occur, and it usually takes MSE to force it.

    Bring back proper bank managers by government mandate. Then ensure that they live or die by customer reputation and not by their reputations with sales directors.
    Last edited by agarnett; 04-02-2015 at 1:51 PM.
    • Pincher
    • By Pincher 5th Feb 15, 8:52 AM
    • 5,842 Posts
    • 2,133 Thanks
    Pincher
    • #3
    • 5th Feb 15, 8:52 AM
    • #3
    • 5th Feb 15, 8:52 AM
    If only you can trust people not to steal your money. When you are near the end of your life, and the relatives are circling, it would be really useful to have an independent third party to lodge your assets with.


    Obviously, there needs to be some kind of compensation/guarantee scheme, in case they run away with the money. We also need to introduce ninja assassins who track down these accountants and lawyers.


    Advert
    _____


    Ninjas wanted who will swear eternal Omerta to the House of Collection. You will seek and capture financial criminals who have absconded with client money. You will torture and coerce return of said funds, then perform ritual execution to set an example for other accountants.
    What happens if you push this button?
    • kkgree1
    • By kkgree1 5th Feb 15, 10:31 AM
    • 270 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    kkgree1
    • #4
    • 5th Feb 15, 10:31 AM
    • #4
    • 5th Feb 15, 10:31 AM
    My husband and his sister have recently taken over their mother's finances, with a LPA which was registered over 10 years ago (she has Parkinsons so organised this knowing her health would deteriorate).

    It has been so hard to get banks to take the LPA seriously. Most of the time you have to physically go into a branch which isn't necessarily easy if both parties work full-time. It should be straight forward to access accounts online but this seems to be the most difficult part of the process. Fine if you want to take money out in branch but try dealing with an overseas call centre who have no idea what an LPA is. Third party internet access seems to cause them no end of problems! In the end we were so frustrated that we just use her login and card reader which you are not really meant to do. However, if you are trying to sort finances and paying care fees sometimes it's the only way!

    I know several friends with unwell/elderly parents who have gone a different route and their relative has added them as a joint account holder. This seems to be a far simpler route and something I've been recommending rather than LPAs. After our experience, I would save the money.
    • matelodave
    • By matelodave 5th Feb 15, 4:16 PM
    • 2,582 Posts
    • 1,398 Thanks
    matelodave
    • #5
    • 5th Feb 15, 4:16 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Feb 15, 4:16 PM
    I agree with kkgree, LPA is an expensive way to get caught up in red tape.

    When my Mum was ill and had to go into residential care I couldn't get the bank to sort it out although we had already sorted LPA, they lost the documentation, wanted to see her although she was far too ill and I had to pay the care home fees myself although there was enough in my Mum's account to cover it.

    In fact it didn't get resolved until she actually died but I still couldn't recover the money that was owed to me until probate had been settled.

    If we'd just sorted out a joint account rather than paying for the Power of Attorney there would have been no problems at all.
    Last edited by matelodave; 05-02-2015 at 4:19 PM.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 6th Feb 15, 1:16 AM
    • 36,803 Posts
    • 33,021 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    • #6
    • 6th Feb 15, 1:16 AM
    • #6
    • 6th Feb 15, 1:16 AM
    It's not quite true to say that with a joint account there are no problems.

    For one thing, if the bank learn that one party to a joint account has lost capacity / ability to deal with their affairs, then they can - and do - freeze the account to protect the one who's lost capacity.

    Also, if anything happens to the 'other' person - divorce, debt, claiming means-tested benefits - then the joint accounts are reckoned to belong equally.

    There is a way of adding another signatory who isn't named on the account, but I'm not sure all banks would be up for that either.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Cutting Tax; Charities; Small Biz & Charity Organisers; and Silver Savers boards, which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. However, do remember, Board Guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts.

    Any views are mine and are not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com
    Still knitting! Current projects: 2 shawls, 2 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure ...
    • Gingernutty
    • By Gingernutty 6th Feb 15, 4:05 AM
    • 3,086 Posts
    • 9,310 Thanks
    Gingernutty
    • #7
    • 6th Feb 15, 4:05 AM
    • #7
    • 6th Feb 15, 4:05 AM
    I suspect a large portion of the problem is training and experience.

    Once upon a time, banking was a highly regarded professional career, where bank staff had a complete training system, dealing with legal as well as financial business.

    Now, many staff are effectively in sales, taught just enough to get around the computer system and upsell at the counters.

    Before the days of Deputyship, I was a Court of Protection appointed Receiver for my Uncle, staff had to refer to a flow chart in the back office to set up a Receivership account.

    It even told them to feel for the official seal on the court documents.

    Even then, many banks misunderstood the nature of what I was requesting and the bank I eventually opted for didn't recognise a difference between commercial and domestic receivership.

    I had to have a business banking account complete with account fees.
    Don't know what I'm doing, but doing it anyway...
  • maevemac
    • #8
    • 14th Feb 15, 11:40 AM
    • #8
    • 14th Feb 15, 11:40 AM
    I registered an EPA for my father in December. Went into Barclays Bank, had an appointment, to do the paperwork. I am now dealing with their complaints department about all the mistakes made. The latest is a return of the cheque I wrote to the care home because it was 'not signed in accordance with the mandate'. In other words they haven't registered my signature on the account. had to go to the local branch to do another signature and now need to get £30 back from Barclays as the care home charge this for unpaid cheques. No point calling the help centre - it is based outside this country and the staff there, including the managers, has no idea what a POA is.
    • Mav6215
    • By Mav6215 14th Feb 15, 3:50 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    Mav6215
    • #9
    • 14th Feb 15, 3:50 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Feb 15, 3:50 PM
    My experience with Barclays in respect to my mother's LPA has been, on the whole, very good. Even the off-shore staff have understood what the PoA is and have been quite helpful. Sometimes the accent and language barriers have got in the way so now, when I have a more complicated, enquiry I ask to be put through to a UK-based centre.

    I also bank with Barclays and I can access my mother's accounts online through my login which is handy as I can do almost everything I can do on my own accounts. I can switch between the two with ease. But I want to be able to view her statements from CloudIT but can't unless either through my mother's own login or going to the branch to set things up so I can do through my login. I also need a card marked PoA but have to go into the branch to sort that out, too.

    My mother also has saving accounts at Nationwide. In order that I could transfer from those to her Barclays accounts to pay bills, etc I went into the branch to set up a current account for this purpose. Unfortunately they forgot to add that I had PoA to that one account which only came to light when I had to make a call to question a transaction. Thankfully it was sorted quickly and a replacement card with PoA printed on it was received a few days later. I got £50 for the hassle

    I've also had to deal with Halifax and Santander and, overall, the experience has been good.
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 16th Feb 15, 1:31 PM
    • 942 Posts
    • 326 Thanks
    agarnett
    Interesting take on things, Mav6215 !

    So you find the banks are broadly manageable in assisting in your sole conduct of your wheelchair bound mother's financial affairs using your sole LPA, and even allow you with a bit of perseverance to use the latest fangled Barclays online gismos (CloudIT?? Forgive me, but whatever does one use that for in running an aged parent's bank account? ).

    Meantime your brother and sister in law who live with her are (a) unapproachable and (b) untrustworthy ? Boo, hiss!

    I can't help feeling, however, that POAs and the like were intended more for protecting the elderly from the confusing world, not for using as weapons by clever siblings with no income of their own wishing to outmanoeuvre less cleaver siblings in order to restrict the outgos so they don't get used up ?

    Sometimes the world seems a bit upside down, doesn't it?

    Some might say no wonder the banks are not falling over themselves to help open up easy banking channels when feuding families are making it an absolute minefield.

    I must say that in order to completely obviate the situation were siblings cannot trust each other, no POA should ever be granted to one of them unless all siblings agree. And if they can't agree but a POA is still needed, then the OPG should rule that the POA requires all to agree and if they don't, the OPG should take over immediately.

    "No need to get a solicitor involved " did you say in another thread? Or forgive me, maybe that was just to save money on creating copies by getting your mother to certify several photocopies of the original (solicitor) registered copy?

    You also said you'd liberally sprinkled those POA copies around several different financial institutions and that some even accepted them (certified copies?) by email?

    Sounds like you've got quite a grip and created lots of flexibility.

    Well done! (I think).
    • Mav6215
    • By Mav6215 16th Feb 15, 2:31 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    Mav6215
    Interesting take on things, Mav6215 !
    (CloudIT?? Forgive me, but whatever does one use that for in running an aged parent's bank account? ).
    Originally posted by agarnett
    My mother still wants and gets the paper statements so rather than try to hunt for them when needed it would be easier if I can see the online version when reconciling her statements with the accounts records I keep on the PC.

    I must say that in order to completely obviate the situation were siblings cannot trust each other, no POA should ever be granted to one of them unless all siblings agree. And if they can't agree but a POA is still needed, then the OPG should rule that the POA requires all to agree and if they don't, the OPG should take over immediately.
    Originally posted by agarnett
    It must depend on what the donor's wishes are if the donor has trust issues with any of the siblings. If the donor chooses just one attorney why should the OPG object as long as he/she has capacity at the time the LPA is made?

    "No need to get a solicitor involved " did you say in another thread? Or forgive me, maybe that was just to save money on creating copies by getting your mother to certify several photocopies of the original (solicitor) registered copy?
    Originally posted by agarnett
    Why pay for something unnecessarily while the donor still has capacity?

    You also said you'd liberally sprinkled those POA copies around several different financial institutions and that some even accepted them (certified copies?) by email?
    Originally posted by agarnett
    No I didn't. I sent copies to those institutions that my mother requested me to or I suggested as she was no longer wanting to deal with them. All the financial institutions wanted to see the original or a certified copy which they then photocopied for their records. I only ever take or post a certified copy. The utility companies, council and ISP were happy with a pdf file by email.
    • southwinds
    • By southwinds 11th Oct 16, 5:20 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    southwinds
    Intelligent Finance Anyone dealing with this account may have a problem . I am currently dealing with the Ombudsman over my fathers IF account. They tell me its an current account and is on line only no cheque book or bank card. AND POAs cant for security issues have access to the on line account . SO we have a huge amount in savings sitting in a current account where we may have to one day soon pay for a care home from it and no way of accessing it. MARTIN you need to look at what each bank does and warn people what each banks procedures are . Dad thought leaving the POA paperwork would make it easier which it has but having an account nobody can access it making life difficult.
    • Mav6215
    • By Mav6215 11th Oct 16, 6:13 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    Mav6215
    I would say that IF need to be educated with respect to dealing with a PoA. Unless there are restrictions in place within the PoA then the attorney has the power to access all accounts whether online only or in person, etc. as if they are the donor.
    • tyllwyd
    • By tyllwyd 12th Oct 16, 10:45 AM
    • 5,321 Posts
    • 4,327 Thanks
    tyllwyd
    My OH has been dealing with his mum's affairs with an LPA.


    Once the LPA has been registered with the bank, things have been OK. But twice in a row when he took the original LPA to be registered the staff took the document to a back office to photocopy, and handed him back the original with a page missing. Once the page was found on the photocopier and posted to him, the other time he realised it was missing and had to get them to check their file, and luckily they found they had the original page in the middle of their photocopies.


    The LPA has numbered pages, but there are also two pages in this LPA which are vital but are not included in the page numbering.


    So get certified copies, but also make sure you know exactly how many pages are in the original, and count them out and count them back - and double check that all the pages they return to you are the originals and not one of their photocopies.
    • Morglin
    • By Morglin 16th Oct 16, 7:43 AM
    • 14,589 Posts
    • 26,839 Thanks
    Morglin
    My brother and I took out a POA/LPA in respect of our Dad a few years back.

    We needed to sell his house, and take over the bank account now as he's in a nursing home and totally incapable of managing his own affairs.

    We have been dealing with HSBC, which was his bank, and although I don't bank with them, I can't praise them enough.

    They have been really helpful and efficient doing this, so perhaps some banks are improving!

    Lin
    You can tell a lot about a woman by her hands..........for instance, if they are placed around your throat, she's probably slightly upset.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,352Posts Today

6,710Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @speirin: @MartinSLewis now thats a blast from the past ???? https://t.co/5cSz1aNWFz

  • Have you set the Betamax? Tonight 8pm ITV The Martin Lewis Money Show - if ur married, and/or got kids and/or get tax credits - a must watch

  • On my way to @thismorning today "Is a shop telling you porkies" - how to tell your consumer rights from consumer wrongs...

  • Follow Martin