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EQ and POA
June 3, 2017
2:28 am
Loonie
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EQ has just revised its T&C. I don't think the part having to do with POA has changed but here it is:

"We will accept Instructions for the Account directly from the account holder only. We are not obligated to recognize anyone other than the account holder as having any interest in an Account nor are we required to gain permission from another person unless third party access has been expressly authorized by you. However, we may act in accordance with instructions from your legal representative(s) (such as a Power of Attorney or Executor), if such person demonstrates legal authority to act on your behalf.
Third party access allows another person (i.e. your legal representative) to provide us with instructions related to your Account which we will in turn act upon. Third party access is given to clients who need assistance with managing their Accounts, or are physically unable to access their Accounts. In order to allow a third party to access your Account(s), you will need to provide the appropriate authorization."
https://www.eqbank.ca/acctagreement

I commend them for at least putting something in writing.
As they don't offer joint accounts, it's doubly important.
It would be even better if they offered step-by-step how to set this up.

June 3, 2017
1:13 pm
AltaRed
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Think it would be too complicated (number of scenarios) to have a step-by-step checklist. Is it an Enduring POA, General POA, which jurisdiction, etc.?

But FI's could have a FAQ of some basics, e.g. Letter of Direction and what to put in it, copy (true copy or certified copy) of the POA document, copy of ID of the Attorney, etc. There are probably 3-5 basic pieces of paper required by the FI to allow Attorney access to accounts.

June 17, 2017
5:33 am
in2deep97
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This is very interesting. I just finished chatting with EQ and was advised that it was their policy that they do not allow POA's, period.

Similarly they don't allow beneficiaries to be set up on accounts.

Was told that in the event of death, they will require original or notarized copies of the certificate, the will, and two pieces of ID from the executor(s) then about 6 weeks processing time

June 17, 2017
10:48 am
Norman1
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in2deep97 said
Similarly they don't allow beneficiaries to be set up on accounts.

Beneficiaries/successor holders only applies to RRSP and TFSA accounts.

EQ Bank has so far only offered the Savings Plus Account, a regular non-registered account. It is not offered as in an RRSP or TFSA form.

June 17, 2017
10:55 am
AltaRed
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EQ/Equitable Bank cannot refuse a POA that is legal in the province in which the POA is issued. So that is a red herring. It may take some machinations to establish online credentials, or a transfer to Equitable Bank, but they cannot refuse a POA.

But either way, their 'insistence' on obstructionist behaviour is good to know because I now know I'd never open an account there for that reason.... My Attorney has to be able to act on my behalf either formally, or if necessary, nefariously using my own login credentials.

June 17, 2017
9:14 pm
christinad
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I phoned eq bank and heard the same story. We don't accept poas and we never have. I pointed out it was in the user agreement and she couldn't even find the user agreement. I read the section on poas out to her and she still didn't believe me. They are supposed to phone tomorrow so i'll provide an update if they do. I'm afraid i got angry as i am sick of banks saying they don't accept poas.

June 17, 2017
10:50 pm
Loonie
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I'll bet they read letters from lawyers though, and pay heed to them.

I do have an account there but I find their staff snippy and their website often cuts me off before I'm finished. I don't really enjoy the experience and am annoyed that they refuse joint accounts while still actively seeking new clients. I'm only there because of the rate. As soon as something more attractive comes along, I'm gone.

June 18, 2017
7:32 am
Norman1
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christinad said
I phoned eq bank and heard the same story. We don't accept poas and we never have. I pointed out it was in the user agreement and she couldn't even find the user agreement. I read the section on poas out to her and she still didn't believe me. …  

I read the section of the terms & conditions that Loonie quoted. It doesn't say they will accept POA's. The terms allow them to accept POA's perhaps in the future should they decide to do so. But, there's no requirement for them to do so

"Third party access" is described. Perhaps that can be set up in place of a POA?

Account holder access

We will accept Instructions for the Account directly from the account holder only. We are not obligated to recognize anyone other than the account holder as having any interest in an Account nor are we required to gain permission from another person unless third party access has been expressly authorized by you. However, we may act in accordance with instructions from your legal representative(s) (such as a Power of Attorney or Executor), if such person demonstrates legal authority to act on your behalf.

Third party access allows another person (i.e. your legal representative) to provide us with instructions related to your Account which we will in turn act upon. Third party access is given to clients who need assistance with managing their Accounts, or are physically unable to access their Accounts. In order to allow a third party to access your Account(s), you will need to provide the appropriate authorization.

In the event that we are served with a court order which directs us to place a hold on funds in, or to be deposited to, an Account, or which otherwise extends to or deals with such funds or the Account, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, we will comply.

October 26, 2017
12:40 am
Loonie
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Legal definition of "may":
https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/May

I am not a lawyer, but it looks to me like "may act" would mean that they have permission to act and that they would act if the condition were fulfilled.
I wouldn't expect the CSRs to know the in's and out's of this and be able to interpret it in plain English, and certainly not reliably.

October 26, 2017
10:22 am
christinad
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When I talked to them again, they said they absolutely do not accept power of attorneys. They claimed they were changing their agreement terms, but I haven't checked if that has been done yet.

October 26, 2017
12:18 pm
AltaRed
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christinad said
When I talked to them again, they said they absolutely do not accept power of attorneys. They claimed they were changing their agreement terms, but I haven't checked if that has been done yet.  

With all due respect, they have to do so according to provincial legislation. If/when a POA provides the right credentials. Naturally it depends on type of POA, e.g. Enduring, Continuing, etc. where the credentials vary and how they are presented may be an issue (in person or via a lawyer or?). An Enduring POA requires nothing more than the POA document and personal identification since the POA can act at any time on behalf of the account holder.

They might argue that they won't accept a POA doing transactions... and if so, it means the POA has to transfer the account out to another institution that will be accommodating. But the bottom line is they cannot stop a POA from acting on the account.

October 27, 2017
8:29 am
christinad
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Who wants to get into a fight wth a bank over whether your poa would be accepted at a difficult time? I've decided to make a complaint to the federal bank ombudsperson abou this. I'll post when i get a response.

Actually according to a globe and mail article, the banks aren't required to do what the ombudsperson says so it seems pretty useless. Best to just share passwords.

October 27, 2017
11:18 am
christinad
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Just a note that I submitted a complaint to eq bank about power of attorney and I at least received a response from a person that they received it. I'll give an update what I hear from them.

October 27, 2017
4:48 pm
AltaRed
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In my last post, I mentioned that EQ might successfully argue that their agreement terms (when modified) may preclude day-to-day operation of an account by an Attorney. It is possible this is a grey area in provincial law, but they at least have to allow a POA to transfer out the account to another institution. It would be interesting to have a lawyer comment on this. Surely there is a lawyer or two in our forum membership??

P.S. At least some banks allow POA operation of an account online (not just bricks and mortar). The Attorney is given access through a bank card of his/her own so that the bank knows if it is the account holder or the Attorney accessing the account. Makes sense.

October 27, 2017
7:29 pm
Loonie
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No lawyer has ever been willing to identify themselves here as far as I recall, but perhaps someone will consult a lawyer and fill us in.
We had a self-identified accountant at one point, but that was the extent of it; and he never seemed to want to share his expertise.

October 30, 2017
3:35 pm
christinad
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Good News. Apparently EQ Bank is creating a process to accept power of attorneys. I heard this from the csr manager and he apologized that the customer service reps didn't know about it. No word about when the new process will be implemented. It sounds like if you need to use the poa now you will have to get past the csrs. I escalated my complaint through the complaint process so you could do this. I'm trying to find out when the new process will be in place and will update when I do.

October 30, 2017
7:43 pm
Loonie
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Thanks for keeping us posted.
EQ is an FI that definitely needs to make some provision, especially considering it refuses to offer joint accounts.

December 12, 2017
1:04 pm
christinad
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I was chatting with EQ bank and asked about power of attorney process again. He said it was still being finalized but then he said what is needed is the form from your lawyer and a certified copy of id. I don't know why it is taking so long to finalize it and he wouldn't give me a date. In any event, at least we know it is still in process. The fact that the chat person knew about it shows it is coming along.

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