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Banks need to educate staff on Lasting Power of Attorney rights

04th December 2012

A complaint made to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) by Teresa Sienkiewicz, involving her treatment by the Nationwide Building Society and Barclays, which was upheld, has highlighted the difficulties faced by LPAs and Deputies when attempting to handle a donor’s financial affairs.

Mrs Sienkiewicz took on Lasting Power of Attorney for her elderly mother, when her husband, who had previously held LPA for Mrs Thomas, died. However, when Mrs Sankiewicz sought access to a bond held by her mother to pay care home fees, she was denied access for nine months by the building society.

Treatment by Barclays was similarly obstructive, and Barclays have had to admit to, and apologise for, mistakes in the handling of Mrs Thomas’s affairs through her daughter as LPA.

Mrs Sienkiewicz said in the Telegraph, “Thousands of people are appointed as deputies every year to handle the affairs of those who are mentally incapacitated, yet the families of those affected are being made to suffer twice over because of the failure by some financial institutions to train their staff adequately to deal with these situations.”

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