Accordingly to a law firm in London, RadcliffesLeBrasseur, using a relative’s online bank account information to arrange payment of their care home fees, even if it is done in good faith with the account holder's permission, is probably a criminal offence.
Not only may it be a criminal offence to use the online banking information to access the funds, but also care home providers who ‘know or suspect’ that fees have been paid using these means, may also be committing an offence of acquiring criminal property pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
This highlights the real dangers of making or facilitating informal payments for care and the importance of putting Lasting Powers of Attorney in place, whilst you have the capacity to do so. Through making a Lasting Power of Attorney, you have the ability to appoint individuals that you trust implicitly to act in respect of your property and financial affairs (so that they have the legal authority to access your funds to ensure your best interests are looked after) which will overcome the issues explained above.
In the event that you are currently assisting a relative in a care home and they do not have the capacity to put a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, you have the ability to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship order which will then allow you to deal with their affairs accordingly.
If you require some more information in respect of putting in place Lasting Powers of Attorney or require assistance in respect of making a Deputyship Application, please get in touch on 01908 660966 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.