HSBC down: Customers furious over ongoing bank outages


  • By Tom Gerken & Liv McMahon
  • Technology reporters

Image source, Getty Images

HSBC has apologised after thousands of UK customers reported they are unable to access mobile and online banking.

The bank has been flooded with complaints from customers on social media, with users saying they have been unable to pay bills or make discounted Black Friday purchases online since early Friday morning.

One customer told the BBC the outage left him unable to pay his rent.

HSBC said it was “really sorry for the inconvenience”.

The bank told the BBC “an internal system issue” had caused the disruption.

“It is impacting HSBC UK customers only – there is no impact to First Direct or M&S Bank customers,” it said, referring to other divisions of HSBC UK.

So far the bank has not said when it thinks its digital services will be back up and running.

At 21:00 GMT, HSBC posted on X “We apologise for the continued inconvenience caused by the disruption to personal mobile and online banking. The issue stems from our internal systems, and we are working hard to get a fix in place.

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‘I had to find out online’

Marius Acsinte, 34, told the BBC his HSBC account was unavailable, causing him several problems.

“I’m not able to open the app to pay my rent due today,” he said.

“I was expecting the bank would send a message or an email explaining why, but instead I had to find out online.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s Black Friday tonight or not, I’m not able to use my money and nobody informed me about why that’s happening.”

Judi Sutherland, 76, said the problem particularly hits her as someone who lives in a rural area.

“I live in the Highlands of Scotland where branches have been systematically and carelessly closed throughout the region,” she said.

“This loss of service means that some would have to make a journey to Aberdeen to access their accounts – a round trip of some 450 miles.

“The online service from HSBC has been excellent in the past but this outage does underline the vulnerability and dependency of rural communities on such services,” she said.

Image caption,

Some customers attempting to access mobile banking are met with this screen

The exact number of people affected by the problems at the bank is unclear, because users must have a reason to check their online banking app to know if it is working.

HSBC has around 14.8 million customers across the UK. Though it is unknown how many of these customers use mobile and online banking, the firm estimates that nine out of 10 transactions at the bank are made digitally.

‘Sort it out’

Social media users on X responded to HSBC UK’s post on the platform with complaints – some saying they were unable to verify payments for Black Friday purchases or settle bills on payday.

However, the bank did not update its service status page, which provides information about the availability of digital services like online, mobile and phone banking, until around 11:00 – something which also annoyed customers.

“It’s the lack of communication from the start of the issue that’s most worrying. You haven’t even updated your own service website. I’ll definitely be moving some of my funds due to the poor communication,” wrote one person.

Sam Richardson, deputy editor of Which? Money, said the outage would cause “a real headache” for customers.

“We strongly advise customers that have been left out of pocket to keep evidence of extra expenses they may have incurred as a result of the outage, so they can be claimed back from HSBC,” he said.

“People want a bank they can depend on, and if IT outages become a regular occurrence, consumers could be tempted to vote with their feet and switch to an alternative provider – particularly with a lot of tempting switching incentives on offer at the moment.”

Additional reporting by Osob Elmi.

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