The Association of Public Authority Deputies (APAD) members often find that front line staff in financial institutions, telecoms companies and other credit-providing organisations do not understand the work of Court Deputy teams and Appointees and do not have training on appointeeship, deputyship or lasting powers of attorney. This lack of understanding creates barriers when – like the institutions - our members try to work in the best interests of our clients, but rather than working together we often end up having to invoke complaints procedures in order to reach someone who understands our work.
This cannot be ideal for organisations and certainly isn’t an effective use of anyone’s time. Most worryingly, the current situation can put our clients at risk from financial abuse either because they cannot afford the services being provided or they are being targeted by third parties that they perceive as friends.
How can we forge a better way? APAD asks that a) you provide your front line staff with routine training on the scope of appointeeship, deputyship and lasting powers of attorney, and b) that you have nominated staff or teams within your organisation who deal with all matters where a client is subject to one of these support mechanisms. This approach would mean we can then work more closely and efficiently with you to ensure our clients are protected from themselves and those wishing to take advantage of them. You will benefit with fewer and more productive calls and correspondence, more knowledgeable staff resource, and less write-offs of unrecoverable debt.
Another area is the use of third party mandates on accounts that are never subject to review or are set up with little or no background checking. Such mandates should not be used where a client has lost mental capacity to manage their affairs, but a review of mandates at set-up and at regular intervals would help to tackle this issue.
APAD want to work with organisations on the issues raised. We can signpost to sources of information to assist you, or explore providing training opportunities should it be resource effective. If you have any queries or wish to find out more, please email Cifas.
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