Managing a bank account for another – new framework

A comprehensive framework for people who need to manage a bank or building society account on behalf of someone else has been produced by Law Society, the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), the Building Societies Association (BSA), the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and other partners.
The new guidance, which is launched today, provides the first universal framework for banks and building societies to apply a consistent approach when helping relatives or carers who need to manage an account on behalf of another person who is elderly, vulnerable or unable to manage their own affairs.
The framework has been launched to reduce the stress and complex administration often faced by people managing someone else’s finances. The guidance will help staff in banks and building societies to recognise and understand Lasting Powers of Attorney, Deputyship Orders and other third party management arrangements.
The objective of the guidance for employees is to improve the information that is available both to staff and the public. The need to operate someone else’s account often coincides with a time of emotional upheaval in a family, so it is becoming increasingly common for solicitors to be appointed to conduct this type of work. The Law Society became involved in developing this framework after many solicitors had reported problems when dealing with banks. The framework is intended to address these problems for solicitors who act under a Power of Attorney or as a Deputy for clients and for anyone who needs to manage an account on behalf of another person.
Law Society President Lucy Scott-Moncrieff said: “The Law Society recognised that there were unnecessary burdens placed on people at times of great stress. There were no uniform procedures in place, which resulted in stressful delays and difficulties, sometimes resulting in considerable hardship. So we were pleased to be able to work with the BBA, BSA and other partners to produce this framework, which will ease the plight of family members and solicitors who have been appointed to act on behalf of those unable to act for themselves.
“As the complexities of life increase solicitors are there to advise and assist with planning for the future or for unexpected events which may arise. It is important for individuals to consider how and who they would like to take care of them if they are unable to do so themselves. Solicitors are required to put the best interests of their clients ahead of all else which provides a guarantee for ensuring that your loved ones will be taken care of if professional support is required.”

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