I was interested but not surprised to read the following short article as, I’m afraid to say, I have had personal issues which highlight this problem. Bank staff are, whilst sympathetic, not well trained and the “manuals”that provide policy are unclear and inadequate. We are an ageing population why are the institutions allowed to ignore their shortcomings?
Even though banks have instructions for dealing with powers of attorney, clients still need support and back-up from their advisers, says Sofia Tayton
It’s been a year since a framework and guidance for Banks and Building Societies authorising people wanting to operate a bank account for someone else was issued.
At the time, I noted that training for staff was fundamental for the guidance to have an impact. Sadly, it has not been an overwhelming success.
Recent reports indicate that the financial ombudsman has had to warn banks to offer more training, with 35 complaints a month coming in about powers of attorney. In the past couple of months, I have been involved in two matters that indicate just how much of a problem this can be.
The first involved an unregistered enduring power of attorney (EPA). The gentleman at the bank told my client that this “wasn’t long enough to be a power of attorney”. My client called me and I had a difficult conversation with the member of staff who refused to accept that it was a valid document or that he may be confusing an EPA with a lasting power of attorney (LPA).