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HSBC suffers mobile app outage amid Black Friday shopping spree

HSBC customers were left locked out of their mobile banking accounts during the height of the Black Friday shopping spree on Friday.

The bank issued a tweet at 9:53 this morning saying it was aware of reports that “some customers” were experiencing “intermittent” issues and that it was working to get its systems back online as soon as possible.

But the issue was not resolved until 2pm this afternoon, shortly before HSBC posted a second tweet apologising for the incident.

A spokesperson for the bank told NS Tech that most customers were able to log on after two attempts, and that the bank’s desktop browser remained online, but they did not respond to a question about the cause of the problem.

The IT glitch comes on one of the biggest shopping days of the year and coincides with the launch of a parliamentary inquiry into outages in the banking sector. Commenting on the launch, Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, said in a statement:

“The number of IT failures at banks and other financial institutions in recent years is astonishing. Since becoming Chair of the Committee 16 months ago, there have been problems at Equifax, TSB, Visa, Barclays, Cashplus and RBS, to name a few.

“Millions of customers have been affected by the uncertainty and disruption caused by failures of banking IT systems. Measly apologies and hollow words from financial services institutions will not suffice when consumers aren’t able to access their own money and face delays in paying bills.”

The inquiry, Morgan added, would examine the cause of outages and examine what steps banks and industry regulators are taking “to promote operational resilience”. It is inviting submissions of evidence on these topics until 18 January.