Power of Attorney & Court of Protection
If a bank account needs to be cared for by a person other than the account holder, Power of Attorney will be needed. We'll explain how to get this.
There are different kinds of Power of Attorney that do different things. What type of Power of Attorney is required depends on various factors, including where the account holder lives, their "mental capacity" and the amount of time the account will be cared for.
Power of Attorney can only be set up whilst the account holder has “mental capacity”. Certain types can be signed and witnessed with an instruction, only to be registered once “mental capacity” has been lost.
If there is no Power of Attorney in place, a Court of Protection order is required instead. This is a court of England and Wales, which makes decisions on behalf of those who are incapable of doing so themselves. If there is a need for ongoing decisions to be made on someone's behalf, the court can give these powers to an individual. In Scotland, a Guardianship order operates in a similar way to a Court of Protection order. In Northern Ireland, this is called a Controller order.
Once registered, an attorney will be able to use the relevant account(s) in the same way as the account holder, unless specific instructions are included in the Power of Attorney document:
- They can carry out actions, such as: paying bills, withdrawing cash and making transfers.
- They may be entitled to a debit card and cheque book (Co-operative Bank only), provided the Power of Attorney document and account(s) in question allows those.
- They will be able to register for telephone banking.
It is possible to have multiple attorneys appointed to make decisions on behalf of someone else. Attorneys are either appointed ‘jointly’ or ‘jointly and severally’ or a combination of both.
- Joint attorneys must all act and make decisions together. A signature from all the attorneys would be required on paperwork for any decisions made.
- Joint and several attorneys can make decisions independently of each other.
- Combination of both. This can be requested where the account holder wants joint authority for high value withdrawals, and either attorney’s authority for other, less high value activities.
Below we will show you what documents you need to provide to us. However, if you would prefer a member of our customer service team to talk you through the process, you can contact us.
The documents you’ll need to provide to us
Please answer these questions about the account holder's circumstances. This will determine the type of Power of Attorney or Court of Protection required and which documents you'll need to provide to us.
What type of Power of Attorney/Court of Protection is required?
What do you need to do once you have obtained Power of Attorney or Court of Protection?
To register the Power of Attorney, you need to send us the following documents:
What you need to do with these documents
When you have all of the aforementioned documents, you can either book an appointment and bring them into a Co-operative Bank branch or post them to our Power of Attorney Team.
To book a Branch appointment please contact us.
To post the documents, please send them to:
What will happen when we receive these documents?
Once we have received all of the completed documents, we will begin to register the Power of Attorney or Court of Protection. This will take up to 10 working days.
We may call the account holder and the attorney(s) to confirm they have been registered and will send confirmation of this in writing. We will also advise when the attorney can expect to receive any stationery that has been requested (for Co-operative Bank accounts only).
For more information on any of the Power of Attorney or Court of Protection processes, please refer to: