1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

Debit Cards and EPA (registered)

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Clive, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. Clive

    Clive Registered User

    Nov 7, 2004
    716
    Can anyone tell me if they have a Debit Card issued to an account over which they have Enduring Power of Attorney registered with the court of protection.

    Up to now I have happily used the card that was issued to mum when she was with me, but now that she is bedridden that is not practical.

    So I asked the bank for a debit card in my name. I am also registered as a third party signature so I cannot see any problem.

    But the bank says they do not issue Debit Cards to a person operating an account with Enduring Power of Attorney.

    Any help will be welcome.
     
  2. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Clive, anyone acting as EPA has to have the 'tools' to act as EPA - and how anyone operates a bank account these days without debit cards is almost unthinkable ......:eek: Even if it is just for EPA to withdrawn 'token' amounts of cash to be given to the 'donor' as pocket money (or whatever other derisory words the COP likes to use) ......

    When you registered the EPA with the Court of Protection did you then register that registration with the bank? I find it surprising they did not 'stop' the original cards ... When I finally got the registered EPA recorded by the bank they issued me with a (debit/ATM) card, cheque book, paying in book etc all of which showed clearly my name 'As attorney for .....' Mum's money, just my 'tools' to manage it on her behalf ........

    The fact I receipt and account for everything I purchase or arrange on mum's behalf is for me to prove to the Court of Protection should they ever wish to see ... not for the bank to dictate how, when or why I do it.......

    Sorry if I've completely missed the point,

    Love, Karen, x
     
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
  4. jellybelly

    jellybelly Registered User

    Sep 10, 2007
    1
    If you are resident in Northern Irealnd and experience discrimination when acting in the role of EPA, you should contact the Equality Commission for NI- equivelent of DRC,enquiry line 90890890
     
  5. Clive

    Clive Registered User

    Nov 7, 2004
    716
    Thanks Karan.

    No you have not missed the point.

    We always pretended to ourselves that mum was still OK. We registered the EPA with the bank, and the bank clerk (who new mum) was happy to keep her name on the cheque book, whilst accepting cheques that I signed (or she signed). All the shops happily accepted me putting the pin number in for mum when we used to go shopping so there was never a need for me to have my own debit card. (All very incorrect I suppose).

    Today the person who checked (and I believed copied) the registered EPA for us is long gone, and I had to start talking to new people who were not sympathetic. And I always feel pressured when there are people queuing behind one muttering about how long the transaction is taking.

    Thanks Karen for telling me what I wanted to know. The support was just what I needed.

    Tomorrow it is back to the bank to argue my case.

    Thanks.

    Clive



    Thanks Jennifer,

    I will read those two web sites before I go to the bank (after a good nights sleep!)




    Jellybelly.

    Thanks for the support. I’m not in N I but I will contact the UK version of the commission if I do not have any success tomorrow.
     
  6. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Clive who told you this? Because if it was a branch or a call centre I would be willing to bet that they don't actually know. If that is the case I would tell them you want a copy of whatever documentation that they have regarding their treatment of disabled customers.
     
  7. May

    May Registered User

    Oct 15, 2005
    627
    Yorkshire
    Hope you get this sorted Clive without having to lie on the bank floor and drum your heels!....:rolleyes:

    Jenniferpa

    Way to go! That's my approach. :D
     
  8. Clive

    Clive Registered User

    Nov 7, 2004
    716
    Hi Karen, Jennifer, Jellybelly, and Jenniferpa


    I am reporting back regarding my visit to the bank this morning (following my frustrating visit yesterday).

    Let me first say that I now have everything I personally need to run mum’s account for her benefit, so I will not fight anymore. I achieved my main objective of getting internet banking up and running for mum’s account but I failed to get a Debit Card.


    Well, I arrived at the bank armed with the print out of “Banking Factsheet for Attorneys” that Jennifer had suggested. I had highlighted the paragraph that said “as Attorney you should be allowed access to the same banking services...”

    This time I was taken into a little room. I said I had three concerns.

    1. I just could not get mum’s account to work with internet banking despite having spent another evening talking to the help line.

    2. The people on the help line had told me they could not see any evidence on their computer screen of an EPA (let alone an EPA registered with the Court of Protection). I suggested that maybe this was the reason the account could not be made to work on the internet. I said I had brought the registered EPA with me.

    3. Could I please have a Debit Card with my name on it!


    Well item one was not too difficult. There was some gremlin in the system and after a lot of tapping on the keyboard the computer allowed the bank clerk and I to Register mum’s account for Internet Banking, and I was able to log on and off a couple of times to make sure it really was now up and running.

    Item two was also quite easily solved. There was “nothing on the system” to show that mum’s bank had been shown a Power of Attorney. The clerk had obviously been trained to look for the Court Seal to show it was registered, and she happily went off to take a copy so it would be “on the system”. (I am at a branch local to my home, and not at the branch where mum was well known and I had previously shown the registered EPA).

    But on item 3 she dug her heals in.
    No, a person operating an account using a Power of Attorney could not have a debit card.
    No, a third party signature on an account can not have a debit card.

    Her solution was to change the account to a joint account. All I had to do was get mum to sign a form. I gave the lady a short “Teach in” on what Alzheimer’s disease actually is… not just the “loss of memory” that the young lady believed.
    I mentioned that I thought she was discriminating against the handicapped.
    I thought I might have shot myself in the foot at this point because I was then told in no uncertain manner that if mum couldn’t sign then “I could not have a joint account…”
    The temperature was defiantly increasing.
    The lady went off with my copy of “Banking Factsheet for Attorneys” and consulted with all her colleagues, but apparently they all agreed: NO debit card.
    Remembering what Karen said about the bank “stopping” the cards, I decided this was a good time to leave.

    So to sum up.
    I am reasonable content with the way I am allowed to operate the account and I am not going to stir up problems for myself.

    I can go on the internet and set up direct debits, and pay mum’s money into other accounts.
    I can write cheques to cover any bills
    I can write a cheque to myself to cover the cost of any little luxuries I buy for mum (always remembering to keep the receipt with the bank statements as proof).

    So I decided not to continue fighting for the Debit Card. I will manage without it. I just feel frustrated that some bank clerks have these strange ideas.

    Thanks for your help


    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Just to share some good news.

    Several months ago I read on this forum about someone getting 100% Council Tax relieve due to having Alzheimer’s. (Yes, I know there is an Alzheimer Society leaflet but I had missed it.)

    I contacted the Council and filled in a claim form, only to be told that they would only backdate claims in very special circumstances. (mum’s sold her house and is now in an EMI home).

    I wrote a long pleading letter explaining how Social Services had told us the only benefit we could claim was Attendance Allowance because dad had left mum some savings.

    Today I got a cheque for a £3,000 rebate to cover the period from when mum was diagnosed in 2002, to the time she moved into care. That will pay for another month at the EMI home.

    All thanks to those on TP who share their experiences.

    Regards

    Clive
     
  9. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Dear Clive, I am glad that you got a resolution you can live with. I can well understand you getting to this point and saying "OK, this is workable, I don't need anymore hassle".

    I imagine that at some point someone will take this issue to the DRC and the banks will be forced to take notice: this is essentially what happened with internet banking.

    Congratulations, also, on getting the rebate from the council.

    Best wishes
     
  10. Sandwichboy

    Sandwichboy Registered User

    Sep 11, 2007
    4
    South UK
    I have an EPA for both parents now. I basically pay for everything, give my father cash and move money around as and when online and pay for everything from my own accounts
     
  11. Mameeskye

    Mameeskye Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    1,669
    NZ
    Just to say that the Royal Bank of Scotland issued a debit card for us under a registered Welfare Power of Attorney in Scotland.

    Mameeskye
     
  12. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Well done, Clive and thanks for posting with the update (very good-humoured too, I must say! :) )

    I recall when I approached mum's bank looking for any which way to avoid having to register EPA with COP but somehow 'control' her finances I was told 'cash point' or ATM cards could have limits set on withdrawals - whereas with the full blown debit card (and CHIP and PIN technology) this is not the case. CHIP and PIN technology is not so wonderful as the banks would have us believe!!! My personal (very cynical view) is that they have created a monster for themselves in that 'absolute guaranteed payment at POS' (Point of Sale) is just that - unlike cheques or direct debits which can be cancelled or recalled subsequently ... hence they are very jittery themselves when it comes to issuing them.... which if their own technology which stands behind the CHIP and PIN system stood up to real-time transactions ........

    Rambling it may seem, but I think it further highlights a form of discrimination which Jennifer already mentioned.... If the donor has trusted us initially, if the COP has registered the EPA knowing we have made declarations without 'protest' from any interested parties and laid ourselves open to scrutiny under the 'law of the land' - what does it tell us about what some of the financial institutions think of such status? Neither respect for the donor nor our legal system!!!!!!

    If as EPAs we are legally bound to 'keep monies separate', then the banks who refuse 'debit cards' to EPAs can be seen to be preventing us from - or at least making it more difficult for us - to do so (the receipt, account and pay-back process is one I still use myself - knowing credit card purchases are covered by additional guarantees by the card companies I sometimes use my own to purchase anything more than 'everyday' items for mum and then 'claim it back' by writing myself a cheque (all fully accounted for of course!). Not ideal.

    But agree with you. If you can manage with it, settle for workable. There are enough other battles ........

    Much love, well done! Karen,

    PS: Would love to know what everyone in the queue was 'muttering' when you got shown to a private room!!!!! Quite the VIP!!!!! :D
     
  13. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    Halifax plc

    Well, I have to say I have never previously been a fan of the Halifax, but when mum became even slightly incapable of managing her affairs, we went along to a local branch (not the one at which mum had her accounts cos it was only an agency), one Friday, with the EPA (not yet registered) and within half an hour I was recorded on all her accounts as POA for her, moved some money around (the young man was very sympathetic to mum's need to have "a book" for her accounts, which generally means lower interest), changed one account to a much higher interest rate, and a couple of weeks later a new cheque book arrived, plus two debit cards - one for mum (which I immediately destroyed) and one for me. I went onto the Halifax website, registered myself for online banking, moved monies around again and bingo! All done easily. The only thing the website wouldn't let me do was close an account completely and transfer the balance to a better one, I had to leave a bit in it. But that wasn't anything to do with the POA. So I guess I have to go to a branch to withdraw the £1 I left on it. I couldn't transfer the lot cos interest needed to be calculated up to the date of withdrawal, and I couldn't get the website to do that.

    Contrast that with getting British Gas to send her gas bill to my address instead of hers. Certified POA required, evidence of mum's signature, all sent off weeks ago, still going to her address (but we've done a mail redirection). Do they want paying or not? And all of them - gas, electric and water rates - were asked to send me direct debit forms 3 months ago, none received. The Water Board even confirmed with me over the phone what the monthly payments would be, and said they had set it up. I notice no money taken out of the current account, and today a bill appeared for the second half year instalment.

    Pathetic.

    I also found a few old documents implying that mum might have some life insurance policies still valid. Worth about £200 between them, by the looks of it. Boy, try getting THEM to communicate with me. The Britannic won't even change the address to mine without the ORIGINAL REGISTERED POA. Contrast that with Swizzels Matlow Ltd, Confectioners, News Mills, Derbyshire, with whom mum had had a pension which I believe was never paid to her. They were delightful. Going back to records from 20 years ago, not a problem. Not quite sorted, but it seems mum tool a lump sum option rather than an annual pension, but they have passed it to head office to resolve.

    Fortunately, I have a friendly solicitor who will sign all this stuff without charging me, to most people it would probably be £7 a time.

    Attendance Allowance is another matter, I'm going to post another thread.

    Hope you all sort out these difficulties with POA. You think you are doing the right thing by having a POA but sometimes it isn't any better than just going along and explaining the situation to a reasonable person.

    Love to all

    Margaret
     
  14. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Had Lionels EPA drawn up some five years ago.

    Registed the EPA some 3 years ago. Approached the bank to have my name put on the only account that was not in joint names, to be told..........
    "Cannot make any changes after the EPA is registered"

    Would not like to comment if this is right or wrong...............far too much going on in our world to worry..............so we 'skirt ' around the issues.

    Sometimes I wonder if it is all worth the effort...............then I look at dearest Lionel, and carry on the relesntless grind.
     
  15. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,856
    Wigan, Lancs
    Banks

    I have been trying to set up a standing order with a well known High Street Bank for a client for whom I have an EPA for what seems like months now. The standing order is to pay her Care Home fees to the Local Authority. (Clue in the title 'care home fees').

    On the 14th August we sent off the mandate yet again to start on 1st September but they haven't paid it. I telephoned them today and after 20 minutes of being passed from manager to manager whilst they decided whether they could tell me ('the attorney') that they had b***ered it up again, they informed me that instead of replying to us, they had written to the client at her old home address.

    Care home fees? Home address? I expressed concern that a bank of all people couldn't put 2 and 2 together and come up with 4? Answer: 'It was the computer'. Aaaarrrggghhh!!!
     
  16. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Don't take this the wrong way Sue, but it's comforting (sort of) to know that they can mess about with professionals as well as the rest of us!
     
  17. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    I believe the expression is 'Garbage in, garbage out'. Or it used to be in my programming days.
     
  18. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    6,630
    London
    Jennifer, thank you thank you! What an excellent link! I didn't even know this document existed. Why on earth don't they send that out with the registered EPA!

    Kindest Regards
    Craig
     
  19. Clive

    Clive Registered User

    Nov 7, 2004
    716
    Banking today !

    Hi

    My TP friends who helped me keep my cool over the Debit Card episode may be interested to hear about today’s encounter with a different Bank. Writing this will help me cool down because at the moment I am fuming!

    I read in the financial papers that, with interest rates high, it could be a good idea to open a fixed rate account, and apparently Halifax are quite competitive.

    I rang the help line for advice and was told that I should go to the local branch to have the EPA registered and open an account.

    I drive into the local town, find a car park, and by half past nine I am walking into the Halifax branch with a cheque for a significant proportion of the money mum got for her house. (You guess the amount; but with house prices what they are it was obviously more than pocket money).

    Sorry Sir, said the lady at the help desk, you need an appointment. I cannot do anything to help you register the EPA or open the account this week. Come back next week at either 3.30 on Tuesday, or 9.30 on Wednesday, that’s the best we can do for you.

    Not believing my ears I asked to see to the manager, who came and, very politely, told me that it was impossible for me to deposit my significant sum of money with the Halifax today. It’s all the regulations he said. It will take at least an hour to register the EPA and open an account and all the appointments are booked.

    So I spent a couple of hours just to be told I have to do it all over again.

    Do they not want my business?

    What is Britain coming to!

    Thanks for listening.

    Feel better for that.

    Clive.
     
  20. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Clive, I don't know whether this is any comfort, but this company was the only one of my mother's financial institutions that required me to make an appointment to register my mother's death. Mind you, the help line did tell me I needed an appointment and made me one, so slightly different I suppose.
     

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