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A few ideas which may help...

by R Mair | Nov 21, 2020 | in Banking and dementia

As a retired bank employee I have had much experience with elderly and vulnerable customers. A few things from my experience :

- ask for a signature card in place of a chip and PIN card to reduce security risk.

- obtain Power of Attorney as soon as possible - many people leave it too late & dealing wìth Court of Protection is something you want to avoid.

- if you have joint finances and have never been involved, get up to speed with things. Too often this is another burden on top of grief or crisis. 

- make an appointment with the bank if you have anything that is not straightforward. Much better to discuss things in a private room than in a banking hall.

- check expressed wishes more than once as confusion/dementia may cloud judgement. I once stopped a dishonest carer being added as Power of Attorney to an account as the customer although adamant at one point indicated an issue later in the interview. 

edited on Nov 23, 2020 by Natasha Morgan
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Jennifer Bute Nov 22, 2020

Once I used my card with a-photo and a description of my dementia problem before starting any conversation I have not had not problems with banks they have been brilliant but I certainly did before I used this It explains simply and briefly what is needed for me

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Natasha Morgan Nov 23, 2020

Some really helpful points here. I'm particularly interested in the last one about dishonest carers. Do you have any more detail about this kind of thing? Did your bank have anything set up to spot possible financial abuse of vulnerable customers?

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R Mair Nov 26, 2020

This is really about knowing your customers which is sadly becoming more difficult in today's banking environment. Bank staff are trained to question large payments/cash withdrawals and regularly stop fraudsters getting the money. I've checked out many transactions myself and stopped customers being sucked into boiler room scams.

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Natasha Morgan Nov 27, 2020

This is really interesting. Can you say a little more about why it is becoming more difficult to know your customers?

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R Mair Nov 27, 2020

Banking is increasingly automated and branches which are fewer in themselves have very few staff. They are under pressure to promote online banking and face to face chats are not encouraged as queues are often long.

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Natasha Morgan Nov 27, 2020

I see. So maybe one way to help would be to find a way to allow banks to get to know their customers through online methods.

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