HSBC Extends Gambling Block Feature

HSBC UK has confirmed that it has extended its gambling block feature from 24 hours to 72 hours, allowing customers to prevent gambling deposits from their bank account for three days.

The tool is available through the HSBC mobile app and once switched on prevents users from being able to make gambling payments via their accounts.

It also automatically declines any gambling transactions for the three days to help those suffering from gambling problems stay more in control of their play.

Maxine Pritchard, Head of Financial Inclusion and Vulnerability at HSBC UK, said: “This is a challenging time for many customers, with some not working and perhaps facing financial difficulty.

“By increasing the restriction to 72 hours, this will help give our customers time to pause when they are tempted to return to gambling.

“We are always looking for new ways to support our customers and make it easier for them to manage their finances.

“Customer feedback on our gambling control showed us there was more we could do to help and we’ve worked closely with them and with GamCare to design the solution.”

The tool is available to HSBC and First Direct customers in the UK with an active debit card. It can be switched on via each bank’s dedicated app, through telephone banking or in branch.

Once the three-day period has elapsed, customers can choose to switch off the block at any time.

In addition to the block tool, HSBC and First Direct have a team of specialists on hand to provide help and support to customers that may be at risk of financial harm due to gambling.

The move has been welcomed by gambling addition charity, GamCare.

Anna Hemmings, CEO of GamCare, said: “The ability to block gambling transactions through your bank card or app is an important tool for those struggling with their gambling.

“This is ideally used together with other practical tools such as self-exclusion, blocking software, and specialist support around the issue – as we have recently emphasised through our ‘TalkBanStop’ partnership and campaign.

“The University of Bristol Personal Finance Research Centre has also highlighted that ‘positive friction’ such as a cooling off period is important for the success of blocks, as this prevents them being turned off in the event of urges to gamble.

“GamCare is pleased to see HSBC UK and first direct take this positive step to support their customers.”

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