CWB Financial Group

Commitment on Powers of Attorney and Joint Deposit Accounts

 

The following information about Powers of Attorney (POAs) and Joint Deposit Accounts (JDAs) is provided in support of the Canadian Bankers Association’s Voluntary Commitment on Powers of Attorney and Joint Deposit Accounts.

Two tools clients often use to assist them in the management of their financial affairs are POAs and JDAs. It is important for clients to understand the differences between the two before deciding what tool suits their needs. Clients should refer to the Government of Canada produced "What every older Canadian should know about: Powers of Attorney (for financial matters and property) and Joint Bank Accounts" to obtain more information about the benefits and legal risks of each of these tools.

Clients who have decided to use a POA should also be aware of the following Canadian Western Bank ("CWB") policies and procedures related to POAs.

CWB can provide you with a standard form POA on request. This document can be used to grant your attorney the power to conduct most day-to-day banking transactions on your behalf. This standard POA is available as a courtesy to our clients. However, clients are under no obligation to use this document. Clients can provide CWB with any POA that meets legal requirements. In fact, clients should consider seeking legal advice prior to executing a POA, as a lawyer can draft a POA specific enough to address a client’s unique situation.

There are miminum requirements for an account to operate under a POA.

In order to protect our clients, CWB will only allow an attorney to act under a POA if: 

  1. CWB is presented with an originally executed POA or a notarized copy of an originally executed POA
  2. The POA complies with provincial legal requirements
  3. Proper identification from your attorney is obtained (to comply with anti-money laundering legislation)
  4. The POA authorizes the action the attorney is seeking to take

POAs can be complicated. Sometimes this requires CWB to submit a POA for a legal review before we can allow an attorney to act under a POA’s authority. We will advise a client or attorney if a POA needs to be submitted for a legal review. We will also provide an expected timeline for when we expect a review to be completed.

There is recourse available to clients or attorneys where CWB refuses to act on a POA or attorney instructions.

CWB will act under a POA or attorney instructions provided the requirements set out  in the "Minimum Requirements for an Account to Operate under a POA" tab are met. Clients with concerns about how CWB is handling a POA issue can escalate their concerns by following CWB's complaint handling process.