Financial Planning: Power of Attorney: Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a Power of Attorney?

a Power of Attorney is a legal document that appoints one or more people (your Attorney/s) to make decisions for you (the Donor).

2. What is a Donor?

A Donor is an individual who wishes to give another person/people the authority to act or make decisions on their behalf.

3. What is an Attorney?

An Attorney is a person/people appointed to look after the finances/ property or health and welfare of another person.

4. What documents will I need to take with me to branch?

We will need to see the full Power of Attorney document – either the original, or a copy which has been certified , (see Important Documents). We will also need to see suitable documents for identification and address verification. If multiple Attorneys are appointed to act 'jointly', every Attorney will need to provide suitable identification and address verification. For a list of acceptable documents, please see our 'Help us identify you' page.

5. How long does it take to register a Power of Attorney with HSBC?

Typically this will take five working days. It will be longer if we require additional information from you.

6. How will I know when the Power of Attorney is registered with HSBC?

A confirmation letter will be issued to the Donor (where the Donor is mentally capable) or the 'main' Attorney (where the Donor is mentally incapable).

7. What happens if the Donor becomes mentally incapable?

Some types of Power of Attorney remain valid if the Donor becomes mentally incapable. Please see our 'Types of Power of Attorney' page for further information. For further information on mental capacity please refer to our 'Mental capacity' section.

8. Can I appoint more than one Attorney?

Yes. If you appoint more than one Attorney, you must specify whether they are to act 'jointly' (ie together) or 'jointly and severally' (ie together or individually). If you appoint your Attorneys to act 'jointly' this means that they won't be able to access telephone banking, internet banking, mobile banking and they won't be able to have a debit card.

9. What happens if I appoint a Solicitor or a firm as an Attorney?

The same process applies as if an individual has been appointed.

10. What happens if the Donor passes away?

The power is revoked (cancelled) and the Attorney/s authority is cancelled.

11. What if the Power of Attorney is a foreign power?

Any decision to accept a foreign Power of Attorney is taken on a 'case by case' basis.

What happens if the Power of Attorney document contains restrictions?

We need to comply with restrictions which are stated in the power which may mean that your Attorney/s cannot access all of our services (such as telephone banking, internet banking, mobile banking, debit card). It may take longer to register with us because we may need additional information.

13. What does 'jointly' and 'jointly and severally' mean?

'Jointly' means that all of the Attorneys must act together at all times. 'Jointly and severally' (sometimes referred to as 'jointly and individually') means that the Attorneys can either act individually or together.

14. What happens if my replacement Attorney needs to act?

Please refer to the Office of the Public Guardian for further guidance

15. How do I access telephone banking?

If telephone access is requested when the Power of Attorney is registered with us, a letter and telephone banking pack will be sent out to the Attorney, which explains how to register for telephone access. Once you are registered, and when you call us, if you're the Attorney, you will need to key in the Donor's sort code and account number. Then when you are prompted, key in your own date of birth, and digits from your own telephone security number

16. How do I access internet and/or mobile banking?

You can apply for internet banking once the Power of Attorney has been updated in our records. If you have a Telephone Security Number you can call us. Or you can visit your local branch of HSBC. You will also need a Telephone Security Number. For further information about Mobile banking, please see http://www.hsbc.co.uk/1/2/contact-and-support/ways-to-bank/mobile.

Internet/Mobile Banking cannot be provided if you have a General Power of Attorney.

17. What is a Court of Protection Order?

A Court of Protection Order can be issued when someone loses mental capacity and there is no Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney in existence. Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/court-of-protection

18. What is a Deputy?

A Deputy is a person appointed by the Court of Protection to manage the affairs of someone who lacks the mental capacity to manage their own affairs. Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/court-of-protection.

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