A recent article in the Telegraph has highlighted the problems still being faced by Attorneys and Deputies when dealing with financial institutions.

The example given was that of Teresa Sienkiewicz, a chartered and certified accountant, who was appointed as Deputy for her elderly mother, Joyce Thomas, in 2009. In dealings with Nationwide Building Society, Mrs Sienkiewicz was denied access to a bond held by her mother for over nine months and her experience with Barclays was not much better. It refused to change the standing order for her mother’s care home bills or to transfer money from her mother’s deposit account to her current account and persisted in writing to her mother, even though she had dementia and no capacity whatsoever to deal with her affairs.

Despite thousands of people being appointed as Attorneys and Deputies each year, the Financial Ombudsman Service continues to receive around 25 complaints a month and the unfortunate case of Mrs Sienkiewicz indicates that staff at some financial institutions still do not know how to deal with authorised third parties seeking access to accounts.