Start by getting your labels straight.
- POA means power of attorney, which is a legal document in which one person (the principal) appoints another person or persons to act as the agent(s) for the principal, acting on behalf of the principal.
- Attorney-in-fact (or AIF) is the person appointed to act as agent under the POA
For CIP purposes, you must obtain information from your customer. The CIP regulation states that the AIF or agent is your customer only if the Principal cannot legally open the account him/herself. That would be the case, for example, if the principal is incompetent. If the principal is incompetent and cannot open the account, the AIF will be considered your customer for purposes of the CIP regulation.
If I name Randy my attorney-in-fact in a power of attorney, but I am still competent when Randy opens an account in my name, I am your customer, and will have legal access to the account (you can require that I sign the signature card). You will get my name, street address, DOB and SSN, and verify my identity. Your bank's CIP may require that you get similar information from Randy (although the CIP regulation doesn't require it). You will also want a copy of the power of attorney or a certification from Randy that the POA is still valid. You will need to ensure that the POA permits Randy to complete banking contracts and transactions on my behalf.
But if at the time Randy opens the account, he says that I have been judged incompetent, I can't have account access, and Randy will be your customer for CIP purposes. You'll get and verify ID info on him. You may also get info on me such as my SSN for interest reporting purposes, but you won't get my signature. Of course, you will still get the copy of the POA or a certification that it is still valid.