Bank Accounts — New Guidance for Carers (and Banks)

The Bank of England, decorated probably for the coronation of Edward VII in 1902. From the Library of Congress collection on Flickr.

The Bank of England, decorated probably for the coronation of Edward VII in 1902. From the Library of Congress collection on Flickr.

The Law Society has joined with the British Banking Association, the Building Societies Association, and the OPG among others in producing two guidance booklets for those carers and family members trying to deal with a relative’s bank accounts when the relative is unable to do so for one reason or another. One short booklet is aimed at the carer, and is definitely worth passing on to clients; however for my money the really important booklet is the one giving guidance to banks and building societies about how to deal with third party requests in this context. From a practical point of view this area of law and finance has been chaotic, with different financial institutions requiring different items of evidence and proof, some of them completely unreasonable. I have not had an opportunity to look through the booklet in detail yet, so I can’t say whether the guidance given errs on the reasonable or unreasonable side, but the important thing for the practitioner is that there is (finally!) a code of guidance to which a bank or building society employee can be directed and asked to follow. At least we are getting to a point where both sides know what is required of them, and that’s a start. You can find the Law Society posting on the booklets here, and there are links to the booklets themselves at the bottom of the page.