What is Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney is a legal document where a Customer (Donor – the person giving the power) appoints one or more Attorneys (third parties) to act on the Customer (Donor)’s behalf.

The Customer (Donor) must have mental capacity to create a Power of Attorney.

When you decide to register the Power of Attorney with HSBC, we will need to see the full Power of Attorney document (either the original or a copy certified by a qualified solicitor in Hong Kong).

Although we are unable to give any legal advice, we have included some useful information that may assist you.

Here are three main types of Power of Attorney:

General/Specific Power of Attorney

  • A General Power of Attorney is a legal document that appoints one or more people (your Attorney(s)) to make financial decisions for you, and to carry out everyday transactions on your behalf.
  • A General Power of Attorney can be useful if you need to grant someone authority for a temporary period, for example while you are on holiday.
  • It must be created in a specific form under section 7 of the Powers of Attorney Ordinance (CAP. 31) as a deed and the Donor's signature must be witnessed by a qualified solicitor in Hong Kong.
  • A General Power of Attorney applies to all of your financial affairs.
  • A Specific Power of Attorney can be limited to specific affairs.
  • We do not accept a General/Specific Power of Attorney that is more than 12 months old.
  • These types of power are automatically cancelled (revoked) if the Customer (Donor) loses mental capacity.
  • Please refer to General Power of Attorney explained for further details.
  • To find out what your Attorney can do, see our What an Attorney can do.

Letter of Delegation

  • The main difference between a Power of Attorney and a Letter of Delegation is that the authority you give to your Attorney/delegate will be based on our prescribed terms set out in our Letter of Delegation form. It must be signed in our presence but need not be witnessed by a qualified solicitor in Hong Kong. 
  • Similar to a Power of Attorney, a Letter of Delegation is also a legal document and the Attorney/delegate will be able to make financial decisions for you, and to carry out everyday transactions on your behalf.  It will be automatically cancelled (revoked) if the Customer (Donor) loses mental capacity.
  • If you want to set up a Letter of Delegation, you and your delegate need to visit one of our branches. 
  • The information contained in General Power of Attorney explained generally applies to Letters of Delegation. Please refer to the page for further details.

Enduring Power of Attorney

  • An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that appoints one or more people (your Attorney/s) to make financial decisions for you, and to carry out everyday transactions on your behalf.
  • It must be made in a specific form according to the Enduring Power of Attorney Ordinance (CAP. 501).
  • It has to be registered with the High Court of Hong Kong if the Customer (Donor) is losing/has lost mental capacity. After a registered Enduring Power of Attorney is logged onto our system, the Customer (the Donor’s) access to his / her account (s) will be removed.
  • This type of power remains valid even if Customer (Donor) loses mental capacity.
  • Please refer to Enduring Power of Attorney explained for further details
  • To find out what your Attorney can do, see our What an Attorney can do.

Mental Capacity

Mental capacity can be thought of as the ability to make your own decisions. Mental health problems can affect the way a person thinks, feels and behaves.

Mental incapacity generally refers to the state of mind of a person who cannot understand the nature and effect of a transaction.