Giving someone else authority to operate your bank accounts

If you'd like someone else to operate your accounts on your behalf, you can do this by giving them an Authority to Operate your acccounts or by appointing them as your attorney under a Power of Attorney. 
This guide explains a little about these two options and how they may be put to use.


What is an Authority to Operate?

An Authority to Operate is typically used when an ASB customer gives someone authority to operate their accounts in their absence.

So if this was you, you could authorise another person to operate your account on your behalf if, for example, you were overseas for a long period of time.

Check out the simple process below.

Giving Authority to Operate

The first thing you’ll need to do is complete an Authority to Operate form.

Once you’ve completed this form, it’s best to go to an ASB branch with the person you are authorising, and we will:

  • Verify your ID according to our policy
  • Validate that you want to set up an Authority with that person (we need to be sure you are providing the Authority to Operate freely).
  • Verify that person’s ID. They will need to bring their photo ID (such as a driver's licence or passport as well as some proof of address, such as a utility bill).

We might also need an example of their signature to keep on file. That way, we can ensure whenever they transact on your account, it is that person who is doing so.

Here’s a full list of acceptable ID.



Powers and restrictions for Authority to Operate

What your authorised person can do with your Authority to Operate

  • Deposit funds into all your specified accounts (they only have authority over your specified accounts).
  • Withdraw from all your specified accounts.
  • Sign, deposit or stop cheques.
  • Endorse cheques payable to the account holder.
  • Get account balances on specified accounts.
  • Pay bills and transfer money between your specified accounts.
  • Load, alter or cancel bill payments or automatic payments.

What your authorised person can’t do with your Authority to Operate

  • Get EFTPOS cards, ASB credit cards, FastNet Classic internet banking access or FastPhone access to all your specified accounts.
  • Have cheque book details altered to show their own name.
  • Open or close an ASB account in your name.
  • Have access to any managed funds in your name.

Authority to Operate joint accounts

If you have a joint account and are giving someone Authority to Operate, all owners of the account must agree to give that person Authority to Operate the joint account.


Cancelling an Authority to Operate

You or your agent can cancel an Authority to Operate at any time. You can notify us in person, by signed letter, or over the phone by calling 0800 803 804.

There are other reasons an Authority to Operate might be cancelled, such as the death of the original account holder.

Please contact us with any questions.


What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that one person (a 'donor' or 'principal’) gives to another person or company to act on their behalf (the 'attorney'). A Power of Attorney may give the attorney wider powers over the principal’s affairs than an Authority to Operate. The Power of Attorney document is usually prepared by a solicitor.

There are two types of Power of Attorney – a Standard (or ‘Ordinary’) Power of Attorney and, an Enduring Power of Attorney.

Standard Power of Attorney


  • Can be general or specific.


  • If you are going overseas or have interests in a country where you don’t normally live.


  • This Power of Attorney is immediately revoked if you die or become incapable of making decisions.

Enduring Power of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney continues despite you becoming mentally incapacitated and unable to make decisions. A Standard Power of Attorney doesn’t continue in these circumstances. Enduring Powers of Attorney might be used as per the Standard Power of Attorney, but also by elderly customers wanting to give their children or loved ones the ability to deal with their property or finances if they become incapable of doing so.


  • You can structure an Enduring Power of Attorney to take effect immediately or in the event you become incapable of making decisions.


Powers and restrictions for Power of Attorney

What your attorney can do with your Power of Attorney

  • Open new unique account numbers and suffixes for existing clients.
  • Close accounts, term deposits and cancel automatic payments.
  • Sign loan agreements.
  • Sign cheques.
  • Change account details (e.g. your postal address).


What your attorney can’t do with your Power of Attorney

  • Open a new account for a new to bank customer unless the account holder is mentally incapacitated.
  • Get EFTPOS cards, ASB credit cards, FastNet Classic internet banking access or FastPhone access to all your specified accounts.
  • Have cheque book details altered to show their own name.
  • Load or alter bill payments or automatic payments to all your specified accounts.
  • Sign an Authority to Operate authorising themselves or another person to access your account.

Powers of Attorney made from overseas

A Power of Attorney entered into by you overseas can be accepted by ASB, provided it is witnessed by a Notary Public. If the original Power of Attorney isn’t available, a copy that has been certified as ‘true and correct’ by a solicitor or Justice of the Peace in New Zealand is also acceptable.

Power of Attorney and joint accounts

A Power of Attorney can apply to one joint owner of an account. You need to advise the other joint owner if you appoint an attorney to act on your behalf.


How to lodge your Power of Attorney with us

1. Visit an ASB branch with your Power of Attorney document

It's a good idea for both you and your attorney to come into a branch together. If you're unable to come because you're incapacitated, then your attorney can come on their own.

We need to see an original or certified copy (certified by a solictor or Notary Public) of the Power of Attorney document. Please also bring with you any other supporting documents.

2. Lodge the non-revocation certificate signed by your attorney

If you already have a signed certificate of non-revocation (a document declaring that the appointment of the Power of Attorney has not been revoked), lodge that too. Or we can provide one for your attorney to sign at the branch.

There may be other requirements, depending on your situation, but we can tell you about these at the time.

3. We'll need to verify your attorney's identification

We need to verify your attorney's ID whether or not they're an ASB customer. Your attorney will need to show us acceptable ID (such as a driver's licence or passport) as well as proof of their current address (such as a utility bill with their name on it).

Cancelling a Power of Attorney

You can remove a Power of Attorney at any time in person, in writing or over the phone on 0800 803 804.

There are other reasons a Power of Attorney might be cancelled, such as the death of either party or bankruptcy of an attorney. Please contact us if you have any questions.


Helpful guides

The above information is a guide only and should not be relied on as it does not take into account your personal situation.

Bank AccountsHaving authority over another person’s assets