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Bank Mandate Instruction: Your family could suffer from this error forever [Updated]

Bank Mandate – Banking has evolved into daily affair that has continually affected our lives in different shapes and dimensions, irrespective of status and social responsibilities at large.

This suggests that there is a re-current need to use bank services, and to access them, you’re expected to meet some obligations which could serve as routine policy and procedure, this is aimed at check mating bank account ownership access strictly to genuine owners who only are expected to have direct access to their accounts.

If these strict measures or policies are not put in place, then theft and unauthorised access to bank accounts will evidently be inevitable, thus the aim of banking as a safe custody has been defeated.

It’s on this premise that I wish to discuss and enlighten you on a topic I term Bank Mandate Instruction.

What is Bank Mandate?

This is a practice where a Bank customer gives a written instruction to the bank, asking her to carry out certain tasks like account opening, make payments from customer account(s) to a beneficiary or other services as may be contained and agreed in the written mandate.

Also, A Bank Mandate is an arrangement whereby a customer writes to the bank, asking her to include certain persons or person as signatories to the supposed customer’s account. This means that this added signatory can sign cheque or make withdrawals from such account as well give instructions, depending on the mandate instruction anyway.

Example 1: Let’s say Chief Williams Benson has a company account with ABC Bank, owing to his tight schedule and numerous demands to carry out transactions in his account which he personally may not meet up with at intervals, he then decides to introduce his company Secretary Joel Sharon as a signatory to this account, note this instruction must be given in written terms.

This now means that the bank will include Joel Sharon as a signatory to this account which gives her the edge and access to make withdrawals and pass on certain instructions on this account as may be required or empowered by the mandate instruction.

Bank mandate instructions/signarory mandate are of different kinds

  • Both to sign
  • Either to sign

Both to sign: This is a type of instruction where both the pioneer account owner and the included signatory/third party are expected to sign a cheque or an instruction before it could be honoured by the bank.

Let’s say a cheque of Williams Benson and co Ltd was written to the tune of N500k, it then implies that both Williams Benson being the pioneer owner and the included signatory/third party Joel Benson all must have their signatures appended before the bank will honour such cheque or any other instruction relating to such account.

Either to sign: In this arrangement, both the pioneer and the included signatory in the case of Williams Benson and Joel Sharon almost have equal rights to this account, any of the duo can issue instruction on the said account with a single signature without the other party and such instruction will be honoured to the later by the bank. This is why it’s termed either to sign.

Additionally, it’s very important for couples to have their spouse as authorized signatory to their bank accounts.

Such signatories advisingly should be either to sign, so that any of the parties could have access to such accounts in event of death withouth going through herculean protocols.

Going into the discussion proper, I will like to educate you on the importance of the above mandate instructions and why each should be applicable at the appropriate place, so as to keep you safe from any form of danger or financial lose that may arise consequently to your actions.

Let me share a scenario with you.

A business man Mr. Aloysius Kennedy has an account with bank SKJ, he had a lot of money in millions in that bank account. He’s however married to Bisi Kennedy for more than two decades and this marriage produced 7 children, 4 boys and 3 girls accordingly.

He likewise had several bank accounts with about 8 commercial banks, each well stocked, in fixed deposits, and cash.

Bisi Kennedy had never at any point been carried along about the wealth of Mr. Aloysius Kennedy, non-of his bank accounts were made known to her nor was she a signatory to any. The husband was full of life and vigour in his forties, merchandising, business was moving well and the world was at his feet, life was at its peak.

On an ill-fated day, Mr. Aloysius Kennedy was heading to the Airport to catch a flight for a business trip, suddenly his Jeep veered into the bush and that was all. Mr. Kennedy lost his life, friends, close associates and families wished it was one of those Nollywood movies, but hell no, Kennedy was far gone.

The dawn of reality of life arrived, Bisi is a house wife, she didn’t know an inch about her husband’s business not to talk of bank accounts already stock with millions of naira.

Fast forward to two years later, Bisi and her children went into as far as begging to have ordinary square meal, life was a hell on earth and the most unbearable.

Her children were sent out of school, Bisis thought of selling their house to at least start a life, but the documents were far gone, she couldn’t have access to them. This came with so many stories that touched the heart and time will not permit me to share with you. Summarily, Bisi and her kids are still wallowing in abject poverty, despite all Mr. Aloysius Kennedy had stock piled in different banks without trace.

Don’t ask me why the bank can’t return the money to Bisis and her children, keep reading.

You may also like: Estate account: 6 steps to access a dead person’s money in Nigerian bank

The second scenario goes thus

Ojo Kunle is a civil servant with the Federal Ministry of Health, in his active career, he rose to the rank of a director.

Following his status and position, he earned more than enough money to take care of his family and invest in assets, properties etc.

Kunle is married to Yemi who bore him four children all grownups. As time may have it, Kunle got retired from the civil service having approached the compulsory 65 years.

Kunle had three bank accounts with different banks, he’ll always pick quarrels and offence each time Yemi enquired to be added as a signatory to all his bank accounts.

Yemi is just a petty trader and had constantly echoed the need for transparency in family financial dealings.

After much quarrels, families came in to persuade Kunle to think in the direction of including Yemi as a signatory in his bank mandate for the interest of peace.

Recall, his gratuity and pension were released in bulk to the tune of millions considering his grade and level before retirement.

Thereafter, Kunle agreed to include his wife as a signatory, but noted it must be strictly both to sign, the wife obliged after persuasions for either to sign fell on deaf ears.

You may refer to above explanation on either or both to sign for clarity.

On a faithful morning, Kunle could not wake up from the bed echoing heartache….. He was rushed to the hospital, but however gave up the ghost along the way.

Lesson for you now

Having gone through the above scenarios, you can now understand the importance of bank mandate signatory the right way.

From the first scenario, Mr. Kennedy did not include his wife as a signatory into any of his bank accounts, which is empirically wrong, the wife and children are wallowing in abject poverty.

Let me tell you, so many idle funds of the deceased in this nature are stocked in Nigerian banks without any body to claim them, the banks will never look for you in any way. They keep the funds while your wife and children continue suffer. viz versa

Looking at the second scenario, Mr. Kunle included his wife as a signatory, but it’s as bad as that of Mr. Kennedy because the bank mandate he chose was both to sign instead of either to sign.

If he’d agreed on either to sign, he would had saved his wife the stress of probate protocols in recovering his funds in the bank thereafter. Which means she could easily access funds without a second authorisation being demanded by the bank.

Read my article how to recover a dead person’s money above to guide you properly in case you have this issue.

You may also like: How to obtain letter of administration in Nigeria

This letter of administration is a process flow to accessing an estate account being that of a dead relative.

FAQ on Bank Mandate instruction

What is bank mandate signatories: These are individuals or persons included to legally have access to the account by the second party, by this it means they can sign a cheque for cash withdrawal or give other instructions which the bank will honour and carry out on the account.

Bank mandate letter sample: This is the letter a pioneer account holder writes to the bank to include a signatory to such account.


You can write the letter in the following arrangement.

Having written your address at the top right corner of the paper, the bank address should come at the lower left. Which after you can start the letter as seen below:



Kindly use this as an instruction to include my wife/husband /secretary etc (then write the person’s name) as a signatory to my bank account.

The signature mandate should be both to sign or either to sign (as you so wished).

Account details:

Account name: Mr. Aloysius Kennedy

Account number: 22335649**

Yours in business

Sign your signature here

Mr. Aloysius Kennedy.

That’s all, having written the letter, submit same to the customer service officer in the bank.

Recall, you will be required to fill a customer information update form, a passport photograph and valid ID card of the signatory in the waiting, as well a specimen signature of the signatory.

Bank account signatory responsibilities: As a signatory to an account, the soul responsibility of signing and withdrawing cheque befalls you, as well carry out other transactions on the account as much as the pioneer signatory can or the second party.

What is a bank signatory: A bank signatory is a person who by legal means have access to a bank account, or included on a bank account to act in the capacity of the account owner. This means that the person can make cash withdrawals either through cheque or other means possible as well gives the bank certain instructions which will be carried out on the account. Applicable to bank mandate form hsbc.


Bank mandate instruction should be handled with great care where necessary as misapplication can create stress. Good application saves time when in honest need. Safeguard the future of your family by adopting the best signature mandate for family finance which is either to sign

4 comments on “Bank Mandate Instruction: Your family could suffer from this error forever [Updated]

Raphael Orji

Money was found in my late elder brother salary account after five years of his demise. The bank has refused to release the money to the signatory, based on a complain that the salary kept on coming till date, after several years of the account owner death and that they demand to see documents to prove genuineness or it was not erroneously paid into the account. Two years running now the bank still hold on to the money. Your kind advice is needed sir. Thanks

Raphael Orji
Oseni Rukayat

Thanks for the explanation

Hello Oseni,

You’re welcome.

[…] Dubai, the processes are not always easy given there are documents you will need to sign, like the account mandate, indemnity where necessary, and […]

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