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Mental Capacity Act - New BBA Guide, UK

August 26, 2017

The British Bankers' Association has produced a plain-English guide to help people who manage finances for others who lack mental capacity.

The new guide, Banking for people who lack capacity to make decisions, offers advice on how to open an account and manage money for those unable to manage their own financial affairs, and sets out the documentation a bank will need to put the arrangements in place.

The BBA's guide is part of an industry-wide drive to ensure a smooth transition to new measures that come into force under the Mental Capacity Act on 1st October. Banks are also providing special staff training ahead of the changes.

BBA Retail Director Stewart Dickey said:

"When people are unable to manage their finances, or are making plans in case such a situation should arise, it is important that they are dealt with sympathetically and knowledgably. The Mental Capacity Act makes it clear that anyone acting for people who have lost capacity must act in their best interests.

"By publishing a help guide and by training staff for the transition, banks are working to be as helpful as possible to customers and their representatives."

What changes from 1st October?

- The Act provides a statutory framework to empower and protect people who lack capacity and introduces a code of practice for those who look after someone who no longer has the capacity to make certain decisions;

- A new Lasting Power of Attorney is introduced. This is in two forms: one for property and affairs and one for personal welfare;

- New deputies can be appointed by the Court of Protection; and

- A new public guardian is appointed.

What stays the same?

- Any Enduring Power of Attorney created before the 1st October can continue in force; and

- Receivers previously appointed will be able to continue in office but will be treated as deputies.

The guide, Banking for people who lack capacity to make decisions, applies to England and Wales, as does the Mental Capacity Act.

The guide can be found on the BBA website here.

The BBA has worked closely with the Government in preparing for the Mental Capacity Act and will continue to work with the new Office of the Public Guardian to make sure the Act is implemented as smoothly as possible.

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