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NatWest says it has ‘mislaid’ our vital lasting power of attorney

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My 91-year-old father has advanced dementia and had to move to a care home. He signed a lasting power of attorney (LPA) years ago and we, as nominated attorneys, began the process of activating it with his bank, NatWest, more than five weeks ago. We urgently needed to set up a standing order to pay the fees for his care home, and have already had to take out a loan to cover the first five weeks. With world-beating incompetence, NatWest now tells me that 80% of the paperwork we submitted has been mislaid. It relies on snail mail and claims it has no access to telephones so I can actually speak to someone. It tells me the only way I can get any further information is to go through the online complaints process. I feel as though I’ve been transported back to the 19th century.
NT, London

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Two days after I contacted NatWest, it miraculously discovered the lost paperwork and activated the LPA, but that burst of energy was followed by further delays and confusion. It took the best part of two months to reply to my inquiries. I’m none the wiser (although I can have a good guess) as to why its departments apparently have yet to discover telephones, or why such barriers were placed in your way. You are now able to pay your father’s bills, however, and have accepted £150 compensation for the “inconvenience”.

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