Twitter storm as HSBC systems crash affects millions across UK
Outage lasts more than two hours
‘Can’t pay for my shopping in Tesco! Thank you HSBC’
By Lauren Paxman and Dan Hyde
4th November 2011
HSBC was today hit by a nationwide systems crash thought to have affected millions of customers.
The bank’s cash machines, branches, debit cards, and internet banking services all stopped working at 2.45pm after a computer glitch.
The outage lasted more than two hours, with frantic HSBC staff finally finding a fix at 4.50pm.
Earlier, a Twitter storm erupted with worried customers saying they could not withdraw money from HSBC cash machines and their cards had been declined in shops.
When This is Money rang the call centre it was engaged and both HSBC and First Direct internet banking was unavailable.
First Direct said its systems came back online at 16.40 – some two hours after the problem hit.
HSBC customers were locked out until 16.53, when cards and internet banking were switched back on.
On its Twitter feed, the bank said: ‘Card terminals and internet banking should now be back on. Sorry and thanks again for bearing with us.’
Earlier, customers Tweeted to say branch staff told them the bank’s services ‘had gone down across the nation’.
Other reports suggested the problem may have extended worldwide, with the bank operational in 47 countries.
HSBC told This is Money it is investigating what exactly went wrong but it is believed to have been a central computer failure.
In a statement, the bank had said: ‘We are aware of some problems and are looking into them as a matter of priority.’