As a result of HSBC’s ongoing commitment to protect our customers this section briefly provides information about Powers of Attorney and Joint Deposit Accounts. These may be used if you wish to give someone else authority to do banking for you.

This information provided about Powers of Attorney applies to individuals who wish to add a Power of Attorney on their account(s), to open a new Joint Deposit Account or to convert a sole-ownership account to a Joint Deposit Account. This section does not apply to business clients or commercial accounts. A link to the Canadian Bankers Association website containing details about the Commitment on Powers of Attorney and Joint Deposit Accounts can be found at the bottom of this page.

What is a joint Deposit Account?

A Joint Deposit Account is a bank account owned by two or more people. Each account holder can make withdrawals, deposits, payments and other transactions on the account without having to obtain consent from the other account holder(s).

As a joint account holder, you share not only equal access rights to the account but also share the responsibility for all the transactions made on the account. For example, if you have overdraft protection or a line of credit attached to the Joint Deposit Account, all account holders will be responsible for repaying the outstanding balance.

If you wish to open a Joint Deposit Account, please visit an HSBC branch.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you authorize one or more people (or a company) to act on your behalf to deal with or dispose of your property. The person giving the power is the “Donor” and the person receiving the power to act is the “Attorney”. The rules governing Powers of Attorney vary from one province to another. If you require information with respect to the law applicable to your Power of Attorney, please speak to a legal professional in your jurisdiction.

Power of Attorney & Joint Deposit Account Comparison

Comparison between Power of Attorney and Joint Deposit Account
Attributes Power of Attorney Joint Deposit Account
Access to the account Once the Power of Attorney has been placed on the account, the Attorney can access the account, subject to any limitations in the Power of Attorney. The account holder (the Donor) also retains the right to transact on the account.
All account holders have the right to access the account without the consent of the other joint account holder(s).
Ownership The funds in the account belong to the account holder (the Donor). The Attorney does not own the funds in the account.
Each account holder has equal ownership of the account.
Modification and Termination The account holder (the Donor) can change or revoke the Power of Attorney at any time, as long as the account holder (the Donor) is mentally capable.
Unless you tell us in writing that all the account holders must give instructions together, any of the account holders have the ability to close the Joint Deposit Account.

Power of Attorney & Joint Deposit Account Comparison

Comparison between Power of Attorney and Joint Deposit Account
Attributes Access to the account
Power of Attorney Once the Power of Attorney has been placed on the account, the Attorney can access the account, subject to any limitations in the Power of Attorney. The account holder (the Donor) also retains the right to transact on the account.
Joint Deposit Account All account holders have the right to access the account without the consent of the other joint account holder(s).
Attributes Ownership
Power of Attorney The funds in the account belong to the account holder (the Donor). The Attorney does not own the funds in the account.
Joint Deposit Account Each account holder has equal ownership of the account.
Attributes Modification and Termination
Power of Attorney The account holder (the Donor) can change or revoke the Power of Attorney at any time, as long as the account holder (the Donor) is mentally capable.
Joint Deposit Account Unless you tell us in writing that all the account holders must give instructions together, any of the account holders have the ability to close the Joint Deposit Account.

General Information

Making a decision that suits your needs

Please note that HSBC and its employees cannot provide legal advice regarding a Power of Attorney or Joint Deposit Account to you. If you require assistance in determining whether a Power of Attorney or a Joint Deposit Account would suit your needs, please speak to a legal professional for advice and guidance.

Obtaining a Power of Attorney

  • HSBC has Power of Attorney forms available for your convenience for the purpose of operating account(s) held at HSBC. HSBC does not require its forms to be used to setup the Power of Attorney; you also have the option to present a Power of Attorney from other sources including but not limited to Power of Attorney prepared by legal professionals.
  • An HSBC Power of Attorney form may impact arrangements set out in your pre-existing Powers of Attorney, if any. Therefore, advice from a legal professional may be beneficial for you to identify potential conflicts between any pre-existing Power of Attorney you may have and the HSBC Power of Attorney.

Operating the Account with a Power of Attorney

  • In order for your Attorney to access your account(s), HSBC is required to collect information and request proper identification to be produced by you (Donor) and your Attorney. This is necessary to confirm your identify and meet anti-money-laundering and other legal requirements. HSBC also requires you and your Attorney to present the original or a certified true copy of the Power of Attorney.
  • Other documents may be required depending on your location (i.e. province) or your particular situation, please visit an HSBC branch for details.
  • If you wish to add a Power of Attorney to your account(s) held at HSBC, please visit an HSBC branch.

Reviewing a Power of Attorney or Instructions Received from the Attorney

  • If your Power of Attorney or Attorney’s instructions require further review when presented to HSBC, HSBC will inform you or your Attorney that a review is required and provide a general timeline for the review. However, certain reviews may require more time than initially estimated. In those circumstances, HSBC will keep you informed and provide an estimated timeline for the review or the subsequent steps.
  • At times, HSBC may refuse to act on an Attorney’s instructions or to accept the Power of Attorney. In those circumstances, HSBC will advise you of the options available to assist with resolution or make available information on its dispute resolution process to assist you or your Attorney to escalate and resolve the concern.
  • For complete details on HSBC dispute resolution process, you can also visit our webpage Resolving Your Complaints.

Changing or Revoking a Power of Attorney

Your Power of Attorney may be changed or cancelled at any time, as long as you, the Donor, are mentally capable. Please visit an HSBC branch to initiate the revocation of the Power of Attorney.

Additional Enquiry

If you have any questions regarding adding a Power of Attorney to your account(s), opening a Joint Deposit Account with HSBC or managing existing Power(s) of Attorney or Joint Deposit Account(s), please visit your local HSBC branch.

You can also find additional information about Power of Attorneys and Joint Deposit Accounts, including the risks and advantages of each option, on the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum’s website.