Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney

Our accounts can be opened and managed under an Ordinary Power of Attorney (OPA) or under an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) that was in place before 1 October 2007, where the donor still has mental capacity. Permanent powers of attorney are treated slightly differently depending on whether you are in England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

For customers in England and Wales we will accept a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), provided that it was in place before 1 October 2007. Either of these will need to have been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

For customers in Scotland we will accept applications under a Continuing Power of Attorney (CPA) registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland).

For customers in Northern Ireland we will accept applications under an Enduring Power of Attorney registered with the High Court (Office of Care and Protection).

In all cases we will need to see either the original Power of Attorney document or a certified copy. The document must be certified on the front page with each subsequent page initialed by the certifier. We will also need to carry out identity checks on both the donor and the attorney.

Type of Access

If you want to give someone full access to make decisions and take action concerning your finances while you still have mental capacity, you can set up an ordinary power of attorney.

This is a legal document giving someone else authority to act on your behalf. It is only valid while you still have mental capacity to make your own decisions about your finances, so that you can keep an eye on what the person making decisions for you (your attorney) is doing.

You can limit the power you give to your attorney so that they can only deal with certain assets, for example, your bank account but not your home.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a way of giving someone you trust the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lack mental capacity at some time in the future or no longer wish to make decisions for yourself.

There are two types of LPA for:

  1. property and financial decisions
  2. health and care decisions

Lasting Powers of Attorney were introduced in October 2007, replacing the old system of Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). An EPA created before October 2007 remains valid.

An LPA will only be valid if you have:

  • the mental capacity to set it up
  • you have not been put under any pressure to create it.

It must be your decision and you must be able to trust your attorney, as you're giving them extensive power to make decisions about your life.

The LPA must be signed by a certificate provider who confirms that you understand it and haven’t been put under any pressure to sign it. They must be someone you know well or a professional person, such as a doctor, social worker or solicitor.

The LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before it can be used while you have the mental capacity to do so.

Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) has been replaced by lasting power of attorney (LPA). However, if you made and signed an EPA before 1 October 2007, it’s still valid.

You might already be using it without having registered it, so that someone can act on your behalf (unlike an LPA, which must be registered before use). This is fine, until you become unable to make your own decisions relating to financial and property matters.

Once this happens, the EPA must be registered before your attorney can take any further action on your behalf. At this point it’s the responsibility of your attorney to register the EPA with the Office of the Public Guardian.

Remember that an EPA only covers decisions about your property and financial affairs; an attorney doesn’t have power under an EPA to make decisions about your health and care. You might want to consider setting up an LPA for health and care decisions to work alongside the existing EPA.

A Continuing Power of Attorney (CPA) grants powers to attorney to make decisions about money and/or property. It can be used once it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland). If it is only to be used in the event of the incapacity of the donor it must clearly state that the powers are not to be used until this happens.

It is common for a CPA to be registered jointly with a welfare Power of Attorney, which gives powers to make decisions about health or personal welfare.

In Northern Ireland there is only one type of power of attorney, an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). It lets an attorney manage all of the financial affairs of a donor, similar to the English property and financial affairs Lasting Power of Attorney. There isn’t a Power of Attorney which allows decisions to be made about health and well-being..

Managing an Account for Someone Else

There are many reasons why you might need someone else to manage your savings account for you, most commonly moving abroad, becoming incapacitated, ill-health or the onset of a mental illness. We understand that any of these situations can make managing your finances difficult, or even impossible, and can be stressful for everyone concerned. That is why we try our best to be as flexible and sympathetic as possible when dealing with requests to open and manage accounts on a third party basis.

We can open and operate third party accounts under the legal arrangements set out below and will consider requests to open different accounts of this type. To apply you will need to complete our Third Party Account Application Form and send it to us by post. These accounts cannot be opened and managed online.