Customers and businesses banking with HSBC UK are facing disruption on one of the busiest days for online purchasing after the lender’s mobile and digital services were hit by an outage.
The group said it was investigating the situation “urgently” after thousands of customers complained about problems with online banking.
The disruption is a blow because it coincided with the annual Black Friday shopping event, where consumers flock online to look for deals before Christmas. According to Downdetector, a service that tracks disruptions to web services, more than 4,000 people had reported problems with HSBC UK’s online services.
The problems started just after 8am on Friday and HSBC could not say how many customers were affected.
A spokeswoman for the bank said the problem was caused by “an internal systems issue” and that the disruption was due to customers of HSBC’s UK arm, and not the First Direct brand or the M&S Bank joint venture.
HSBC UK also apologized to customers on Twitter/X for the issues, saying: “We are working hard to restore mobile and online banking service and to authorize online card purchases through the app. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
Customers came to the platform to express their frustration with the bank. “Pay a day and I can’t pay my bills or organize my money,” one user wrote.
Sam Richardson, deputy editor of Which? Money said: “This HSBC outage will cause real headaches for many of its customers. At worst it could prevent people from making essential payments such as rent and bills, but it also falls on Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, when many people are looking to make significant savings on expensive items. .
“We strongly advise cash-strapped customers to retain evidence of any additional costs they may have incurred as a result of the disruption so that they can be reclaimed from HSBC.
“People want a bank they can trust, and if IT outages become a regular occurrence, consumers may be tempted to vote with their feet and switch to an alternative provider – especially with many tempting switching incentives on offer.”
Protecting digital services from disruptions caused by outages or cyber-attacks has become a priority for banks and other businesses as services across the economy increasingly move online. Ensuring the so-called ‘operational resilience’ of key banking and building society services is a key focus for regulators at the Bank of England.
The FTSE 100 bank, based in London, is Europe’s largest bank by assets.
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