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Thread: Power of attorney for personal bank account arrangements

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    Power of attorney for personal bank account arrangements

    G'day everyone

    I'm abroad and I need to give someone power of attorney on my bank account to do a few needed operations. I trust the person enough to give them complete control over my accounts and all my bank business (except I don't want to give them power to sign surity on my behalf), but I prefer to limit the authority to just what is necessary.

    My problem is that although the bank has indicated that they will accept a power of attorney, they refuse to tell us what the wording on the power of attorney should be. It would appear they they're hoping to get a general power of attorney out of me, instead of a specific one. And I'm not inclined to do that.

    Now my choice is between granting power of attorney for any bank account at any bank, or only for the specific accounts that I already have. I favour this last approach, but that means that I would have to make a list of things that the agent is allowed to do on my behalf, right? So here's my current list... let me know what you think and if you think anything should be added or removed:

    The authorised person may: update the contact details, including e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, and physical and postal addresses; change the branch at which the account is held; deposit and withdraw funds; apply for and receive bank statements and archived bank statements; apply for the issue or reissue of any cards (including debit and credit cards), receive such cards and sign for it, change the PIN codes of such cards, and cancel or stop any cards; apply for and update any limits, including withdraw limits, deposit limits, transfer limits, ATM limits, daily limits, internet banking limits, and other limits; apply for, create, update, stop or cancel debit orders and stop orders, and request and receive information about debit orders and stop orders; and generally do anything else related to the accounts.

    I'm not sure what should go in there... basically what I want the person to be able to do (a) is to arrange for internet banking for me, and to set limits on the internet banking, and (b) to receive my new credit card, and to set the PIN on the credit card (after which he'll courier it to me). But I don't want to leave out something from the power of attorney that may be necessary for the agent to do these two things. Tricky...

    A related issue (but not one that I ask advice for) is that the bank seems to think that the South African embassies in various countries act as commissioners of oaths to sign such things as powers of attorney... but the embassy here in The Hague told me quite specifically that they don't do that. So I'll get the darn signed by a notary (R500-R1000 fee) and hope that the bank accepts it.

    So, what are your thoughts about what the bank would likely want the power of attorney to state, and what it should look like?

    Thanks
    Samuel

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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    In today's environment, there is no reason to give someone control of your bank account. With the current internet banking, you can pay accounts from anywhere on the planet, provided you have an Internet connection.

    In my business I need to make daily payments, almost 360 days of the year, which means that when I am on business or on holiday, I can still meet my obligations by using the internet banking. Even paying a new creditor, with the SMS verification, this is possible, because no matter where you are, the SMS gets to your phone to complete the transaction. In fact the internet banking is available 24/7, and payments do not have a specific time to process. There may be a 24 hour delay if a payment is made after banking hours. Of course there is also a delay on week ends and public holidays. You can via internet print statements, change phone numbers, change postal addresses, place future payments, create recurring payments, stop cheques. In fact all the functions that you do at a bank can now be done via the internet connection, except for collecting your credit card.

    I would seriously reconsider the power of attorney as the only solution for total account access and control. I think power of attorney was for days in which there was no easy access to the banking institution.

    I use FNB and ABSA, in which I can create a second account access in which I can specifically set up what the person can or can not do, and even limit the maximum amount of payment amount per day if required. So bank statements can be printed only, or you can limit for Drs only or Crs viewing only.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justloadit View Post
    In today's environment, there is no reason to give someone control of your bank account. With the current internet banking...
    Yes, but that's a bit of a catch-22, isn't it? You can only get internet banking if you visit the branch in person, or... if you give someone authority to do so on your behalf.

    Also, if your bank uses transaction confirmation via SMS and not via some civilised method like e-mail or a random reader, and you lose SMS access, then you also lose bank access. Which is more likely... that a cellphone will be lost, stolen, or out of signal, or that an e-mail account will be compromised?

    This is in fact what has happened to me -- I already have internet banking but I have no more access to SMS, and I want to change my internet banking settings so that I receive transaction confirmation codes (RVN) via e-mail. The bank is okay with that, except that no-one bothered to tell me (while I was still close to the bank) that I need to manually set up certain limits on my internet banking before they are willing to change certain settings for me. Once these limits are active, the bank will change the RVN mechanism from SMS to e-mail. The limits can only be set in person, at a bank branch.

    You can via internet print statements, change phone numbers, change postal addresses, place future payments, create recurring payments, stop cheques. In fact all the functions that you do at a bank can now be done via the internet connection...
    Some of these services are possible on internet banking only after you've manually had them activated at the bank branch. You might think that it is possible to do so if you have "internet banking", but in reality some things only work if you activated it. And when do you usually discover that you can't do something that you had always thought that you could do? When you're far away from the bank branch, of course.

    I would seriously reconsider the power of attorney as the only solution for total account access and control. I think power of attorney was for days in which there was no easy access to the banking institution.
    Well, I have no easy access to the banking institution. And I don't want to give "total account access and control". Giving complete control would be the simplest but also the silliest.

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    According to me the climate of today 's banking sector wants the reason to give some one else your bank account. if you have reason in the current time you can easily pay through the net banking.you will go anywhere in the world the connection provided to you by Internet.
    In the my business i have to pay the daily payment, 24hours and 7days in the whole year., that means if i want to go for a holiday , i can easily met with and give the money payment through the Internet.
    even with the facilities of the net banking i can easily pay to the creditors with the SMS verification. this is 'possible because it doesn't matter where i m buyt the message through your transaction was complete.

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