After the sudden disruption in its services on Black Friday, HSBC shared that its online services are getting back to normal.
On Friday at 11 pm, HSBC shared a message on X (formerly known as Twitter) stating,
“Online and Mobile Banking services are recovering and becoming operational again. We apologize once again and recognize the frustration this caused for many of our customers. We are committed to working behind the scenes to ensure a complete recovery.”
Around 8 am on Black Friday, HSBC faced disruptions in its services, possibly impacting those receiving their pay. The problem arose from issues within the bank’s internal systems, causing inconvenience to users.
The exact number of customers impacted was not disclosed by the bank. HSBC, which boasts approximately 14.8 million customers in the UK, as stated on its website, did not specify the scale of the issue.
In the UK, people have a tough time using mobile and online banking during a busy shopping day. But now, things are improving, and HSBC customers can access their digital services more easily.
Throughout the day of disruption, the bank provided regular updates online. However, some customers complained on social media in response to the disruption.
HSBC service disruption sparks calls for compensation amid Black Friday shopping rush
Following the late-night update, some customers called for compensation.
One customer expressed, “Certainly, there should be some compensation here. Some people had a really tough day. Apologies for the inconvenience don’t offer much help.”
HSBC assured that debit and credit cards operated normally despite the service disruption.
The inconvenience occurred during the bustling Black Friday shopping spree when retailers had heavily reduced prices, adding to the challenges.
Since November 24 marked the final Friday of the month, it also served as a payday for certain people, amplifying the significance of the service interruption. During the disruption, some individuals may have needed to access their banking to check their remaining funds for the ongoing sales.
In response to HSBC UK’s message, an X user earlier remarked, “Literally the worst timing ever. People received their pay and have bills to settle.”
Another user commented, “Need to transfer some money for Black Friday buys (that I probably don’t need). Maybe it’s a sign!”
Which? Money deputy editor offers guidance on navigating the HSBC outage fallout
Sam Richardson, deputy editor of Which? Money, recommended,
“We advise customers who faced financial losses due to the outage to keep records of any additional expenses. This documentation will be crucial for claiming reimbursement from HSBC.”
“People seek a reliable bank, and if IT outages happen often, customers might consider moving to another provider. Especially with exciting switching incentives available, individuals may be tempted to switch banks.”
“Maintaining a backup bank account or credit card can be beneficial. It provides consumers with a means to make essential payments during outages like these.”
HSBC’s branch closures reflect the accelerated shift to digital banking
Earlier, HSBC bank had revealed plans to shut down 114 branches in the country during 2023 due to the increasing preference of its customers for online banking services.
According to HSBC, the drop in branch usage has rapidly intensified since the onset of the Covid pandemic, to the extent that some of the branches slated for closure are now catering to fewer than 250 people a week.
Conversely, the utilization of its mobile app has nearly tripled since 2017, reflecting a significant shift toward digital channels, with the majority of transactions now conducted digitally.
In recent years, regulators and politicians have consistently urged banks to avert such issues, especially as financial institutions reduce physical branches and promote reliance on digital services.
In April last year, the Bank of England instructed banks to expedite their recovery from outages to prevent eroding public confidence in the financial sector. This underscores the growing importance of robust systems in an era of increasing digitalization within the banking industry.