Third party access: FAQs | HSBC UK

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1. How will I know that the power of attorney, Court of Protection order or third party mandate has been lodged correctly with HSBC or if there are any issues?

If you submitted the documentation to us, we will contact you as soon as possible if there are any issues causing a delay in processing the third party access.

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2. How long does it take to set up a power of attorney, Court of Protection order or third party mandate on my account

It can vary depending on whether we have received a complete and correctly filled out set of documents. We will contact you in case there are any issues causing a delay in processing your documentation.

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3. Can I name multiple third parties?

You may appoint any number of third parties if you are using a third party mandate or power of attorney. The mandate or power of attorney must state clearly who has been appointed and whether they are authorised to act "jointly" or "jointly and individually" when making decisions. Appointing multiple third parties to act "jointly" means that they must all make decisions together, while appointing them to act "jointly or individually" means that they are authorised to make decisions together or alone.

Please note, for security reasons if the third parties can only make decisions "jointly", they will not be able to have access to Telephone Banking or Internet Banking.

In the case of a Court of Protection order, the Court will decide who to appoint as a deputy and what their duties and powers will be.

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4. What if my power of attorney, Court of Protection order or third party mandate contains specific restrictions?

Any third party access may include restrictions to the third party's powers depending on the wishes of the person providing access to his or her accounts. A third party mandate is a pre-printed bank document that allows you to choose from certain restrictions. Powers of attorney allow you to add your own restrictions.

Please note, for security reasons any restriction on a third party mandate or power of attorney will stop the third party having access to Telephone Banking and Internet Banking.

In the case of a Court of Protection order, the Court will decide what restrictions, if any, should be made to the deputy's powers.

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5. Can I give someone third party access to a joint account I hold?

You and any other parties to the joint account need to agree and submit jointly signed instructions to us if you would like to appoint a third person to have access to the joint account.

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6. What happens with my joint accounts if I lose mental capacity?

If we are notified that you have become incapable of managing your accounts, any joint accounts you hold will be inhibited unless a third party can present us with a registered lasting or enduring power of attorney (stamped and perforated by the Office of the Prosecutor) or until we receive a Court of Protection order appointing a deputy to manage your accounts. Some pre-authorised payments, for example mortgage or utility bill payments, may continue to debit the account while it is inhibited.

If you lose capacity and you have an attorney appointed to manage the joint account on your behalf, any other parties to the joint account will be notified. The attorney and the other joint account holder(s) will have to agree on how to manage the joint account in the future.

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7. What happens to the third party access if I lose mental capacity?

If we become aware that you have become mentally incapable of managing your accounts, any third party mandates, ordinary powers of attorney or non-standard powers of attorney on your account will be immediately cancelled and any joint accounts you hold will be inhibited.

This account status will be maintained until we receive a Court of Protection Order appointing a deputy to manage your affairs, or until your attorney presents a valid lasting or enduring power of attorney which has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

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8. How can I ensure third parties do not defraud me or perform other actions which I do not agree with?

Once you authorise another person to have access to your account(s), you will be responsible for their actions or omissions as if they were your own as long as you remain mentally capable. If you have given the third party access via a third party mandate or power of attorney, you do have the option of restricting the level of access they have.

If you lose capacity, the types of third party access which may be used would be a registered lasting or enduring power of attorney or a Court of Protection order. Registered attorneys and deputies have a responsibility to act in the best interest of the individual they represent. You can follow these links to the Directgov website to find out more information on the duties of deputies and attorneys.

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9. What is the difference between a third party mandate and an ordinary power of attorney?

The main differences are that a third party mandate is an HSBC-specific document that gives a third party access to your HSBC bank account. An ordinary power of attorney can be written by you and can give a third party access to different accounts in different financial institutions.

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10. What is a specific ordinary power of attorney?

A specific ordinary power of attorney includes restrictions on what the third party has control over. You can find more information about the standard wording of an ordinary power of attorney on the Official UK Legislation website.

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11. What happens if I am abroad for an extended period of time with no access to my bank account?

You may not need a third party to manage your bank account while you are abroad. If you have Internet or Telephone Banking access, you may still be able to do so yourself. Find out how to Contact Us.

If you absolutely need a third party to access your bank accounts, you can still make a power of attorney if you're already abroad by following the instructions here. You can then ask the attorney to submit the power to us in the UK, ensuring you include all supplementary documentation.

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12. What if the power of attorney is a foreign power?

Any decision to accept a foreign power of attorney will be made on a case by case basis.

See our information pages on third party access for some potential alternatives if your power of attorney is not accepted.

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13. Who can decide and tell you whether I'm mentally capable?

You can find more information about mental incapacity and about the practical application of the 2005 Mental Capacity Act on the NHS website. You'll also find information on the Directgov website.

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14. What is the difference between an enduring power of attorney and a lasting power of attorney?

The enduring power of attorney was replaced by the lasting power of attorney on 1st October 2007 and both documents have almost the same application. Enduring powers of attorney may still be used as long as they were signed and dated before the 1st October 2007.

Both lasting and enduring powers of attorney are legal documents which allow the attorney to make decisions on your behalf. Lasting powers of attorney have to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian in order to be valid. Enduring powers of attorney may be used without registering as long as you retain mental capacity.

Should you lose mental capacity, a lasting power of attorney will remain valid. An unregistered enduring power of attorney will be suspended if you lose mental capacity, but if your attorney registers it with the Office of the Public Guardian, it will be valid again.

You can find out more information on the Directgov website.

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15. Does an enduring power of attorney or lasting power of attorney give a third party access even if I'm mentally incapable?

A registered lasting power of attorney gives a third party access whether or not you have mental capacity.

An enduring power of attorney is slightly different. If you have mental capacity they can use an unregistered ensuring power of attorney. But if you lose mental capacity, it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used.

Once we are notified that you have lost capacity, the attorney's powers under an enduring power of attorney will be limited to actions which are essential to prevent loss to you and other people dependent on you. Depending on the situation, this could mean, for example, that some pre-authorised payments may continue to debit your account, such as payments for a mortgage or utilities. Once the enduring power has been registered, the attorney will regain full powers.

Both enduring and lasting powers of attorney must be made and signed by you when you still have mental capacity.

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16. What happens if I am appointing a solicitor or professional services firm as my attorney?

You have the option of appointing a limited company to act as your third party instead of a private individual. In this case, please ensure that the appointment and signing instructions are clearly outlined in the power.

The company acting as third party must provide the bank with a board resolution appointing named individuals to act on its behalf, as well as with specimen signatures which will be copied and processed with the rest of the documents submitted with the power of attorney.

We will ask to see suitable identification and verification of address documents for the attorney and anyone authorised to sign on your accounts on behalf of the company

We will also carry out a credit search on the company to ensure that it has not been listed for bankruptcy in the past.

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17. What account information can you give me to help with my Court of Protection application?

We give information to the Office of the Public Guardian, not to solicitors, friends or relatives who are preparing an application. So unfortunately we can't give you any details about a customer's account unless you are a signatory to that account.

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18. What information can you give the Court of Protection or the Office of the Public Guardian about the way I'm managing the account as a deputy?

The Court may carry out periodic audits of a deputy's bank accounts to ensure that the deputy is managing the customer's assets in accordance with the Court order. If the Court of Protection or Office of the Public Guardian request specific information from us, we will respond to the request.

You can find more useful information about a deputy's responsibilities and powers on the Directgov website.

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19. I am applying to become a deputy for an HSBC customer. Can you provide me with the security deposit I need to become a deputy from the customer's account?

No. If the Court of Protection has required a security deposit, it must be in place before we can accept the Court of Protection order. The deputy must show us the original (or an original copy certified by a solicitor) of the letter containing the endorsement number of the security bond. This document will form part of the Court of Protection order and a photocopy of it will be retained by us for our records.

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