Regulators are scrutinising HSBC over the bank’s two-day online banking outage that has prevented millions of customers from accessing their accounts.
A spokesperson from the Financial Conduct Authority told Business Insider:
“The FCA is in contact with HSBC regarding a recent IT issue. We will be working closely with the bank as it resolves the problem and to ensure there are steps in place to help consumers who are affected.”
It did not comment further.
To be clear, HSBC is not currently under investigation, nor has Britain’s regulator said it would investigate the bank, but there is huge potential for a probe if the regulator follows past examples.
A source close to the FCA told Business Insider that HSBC could be open to an investigation later on because “part of working with a firm on an issues like these would include looking at the best, and most appropriate, next step.”
HSBC is just the latest in a line of banks to be rocked by severe technical glitches that have directly affected ordinary account holders.
Since Monday, HSBC customers have been unable to access their online banking accounts and many are reporting they are able to get to their accounts via mobile banking.
On top of that, customers are taking to social media to ask HSBC for help after incorrectly being charged fees for going into or over their overdrafts, even though they have the funds in their accounts. HSBC has since told Business Insider that it will waive all fees that may have been incurred incorrectly during the online banking outage.
John Hackett, HSBC’s UK Chief Operating Officer also told us that the reason for the IT glitch is due to a “complex technical issue with our internet banking systems” and that it was not a result of “a cyber-attack or any other malicious act.”
HSBC’s IT problems are not uncommon it seems in Britain’s banking industry.
Those banks were fined in 2014 for failures that happened in 2012.
In January 2014, Lloyds Banking Group reported customers were unable to access to use their debit cards.
In December 2013, RBS pledged to put aside potentially millions of pounds in compensation for customers who were left unable to pay for goods and services or receive funds into their accounts, in the run-up to Christmas that year.
RBS customers, much like HSBC customers currently, were charged overdraft fees as a result.
That same month, NatWest customers were also hit by internet banking issues after a cyber-attack hit the bank’s website and Ulster Bank also experienced similar IT glitches.