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Power of attorney – Frequently Asked Questions

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Understanding power of attorney

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document that appoints one or more people (your attorneys) to make decisions for you (the donor).

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 phone banking, online banking, mobile banking and they won't be able to have a debit card. 

What happens if I appoint a solicitor or a firm as an attorney?

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

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 GOV.UK.

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 GOV.UK.

Registering power of attorney with HSBC

Who can register a power of attorney online?

You can register your power of attorney or Court of Protection order using our online form if:

  • you’re the sole attorney or deputy and you have an HSBC account
  • the donor or person covered by a Court of Protection order is an HSBC customer with a bank account or credit card
  • you’re registering a lasting power of attorney, ordinary (general) power of attorney, enduring power of attorney, Scottish powers, Northern Ireland enduring powers or a Court of Protection order

Please go to our Power of attorney registration page for more information.

What documents will I need to register a power of attorney?

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.

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

Once we have all of the information we need, the power of attorney will be set up within 10 working days.

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 attorneys cannot access all of our services (such as telephone banking, online banking, mobile banking, debit card). It may take longer to register with us because we may need additional information.

How do I access phone banking?

If you've asked for phone access when registering for power of attorney with us, we'll post a letter and phone banking pack to the attorney. This explains how to register for phone access. Once you're registered, you can call us if you're the attorney. You'll need to key in the donor's sort code and account number. Then when prompted, key in:

  • your own date of birth
  • the digits from your own Telephone Security Number

How do I access online and mobile banking?

Once registered for phone banking, the attorney can apply for online banking once the power of attorney has been updated in our records. You can apply in one of our branches or by calling us on 03457 404 404.

To find out more about mobile banking.

Please note: we can only give online banking access to one party at a time (either donor or attorney). We can't given you online and mobile banking if you have a general power of attorney.

Where can I register my Secure Digital Access code for my power of attorney?

Please follow the steps here to register your code with HSBC.

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).

Who can certify my POA document if I live in the UK?

If you live in the UK, the donor, a solicitor or a notary public can certify your POA document.

If you live outside the UK, you'll need to get both your  proof of identity document and your proof of address documents certified. You can find out how to do this by visiting our Help us to identify you page.

Troubleshooting and more help

I'm having trouble activating my new debit card. What should I do?

When you call to activate your card, please enter the donor’s date of birth and not your own to complete the activation.

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.

What happens if the donor dies?

The power is revoked (cancelled) and the attorney’s authority is cancelled.

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 attorneys cannot access all of our services (such as telephone banking, online banking, mobile banking, debit card). It may take longer to register with us because we may need additional information.

What happens if my replacement attorney needs to act?

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


  • Attorney – A person/people appointed to look after the finances/property and affairs/health and welfare of another person.
  • Certified copy – Photocopy of a Power of Attorney document which bears a certificate signed by an authorised person (eg the Donor, a solicitor, a notary public) at the end of each page to confirm that it is a true and complete copy of the original.
  • Deed of Revocation – Formal document which may be used to cancel a Power of Attorney.
  • Donor – An individual who wishes to give another person/people the authority to act or make decisions on their behalf.
  • 'Jointly' AND 'Jointly and Severally' AND 'Jointly and Individually' – This applies if there are multiple Attorneys appointed. 'Jointly' means that all of the Attorneys must act together at all times.
  • 'Jointly and Severally' or 'Jointly and Individually' means that the Attorneys can either act individually or together.

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