Feeds

back to article Brits' HSBC bank cards, net access goes TITSUP

HSBC in the UK is suffering an unexplained outage across a number of systems today. Brit customers have had their cards declined and experienced problems using internet banking and the fast balance app. A spokesperson for the bank told The Reg: "We're aware that some customers are experiencing problems and we're looking into it …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Silver badge

Sir

Sods law.

Sorry everyone. I went to check my balances today, I've been putting it off for about 5 weeks.

Hang on, someones talking to me......oh, apparently it isn't my fault - and there I was thinking all banking problems were the result of their customers! silly me. carry on.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Sir

HSBC has now collapsed and your money will be used to pay off the debts. We apologise for this minor problem and hope this does not cause too much inconvenience.

Our call centres and customer services department are now closed for the foreseeable future.

Thank you for you patience.

0
0
WTF?

,I just almost had heart failure because my card didn't work!

When did bypass machines start requiring a card?

2
0
Bronze badge

Common practise...

...in the USA or so I hear.

9
0

Bypass machines requiring card??

About the time when Jude Law and the repo men started renting out life saving machines.

0
0
Silver badge
Devil

When hospitals found out that you don't have any cash left because it all went to "free healthcare" while actual treatments went off-sheet because of "price capping".

2
1
Bronze badge
Headmaster

Re: Common practise...

...in the USA or so I hear.

Yes, indeed. In the UK we would write "common practice".

0
0
Silver badge

@ Destroy All Monsters

Yes, because the USA does so well on national health indicators vs GDP, doesn't it? There is a graph on the web somewhere that shows the USA as a dramatic outlier to the right of the graph showing that it has terrible outcome:expenditure ...

0
0
g e
Silver badge
Unhappy

Less than ideal

Esp if you've just spent two gruelling hours battling round a dismal supermarket and your card stuffs up at the checkout.

1
0

Re: Less than ideal

@g e

I sympathise (not least because I'm with HSBC too and have seen the flakiness of their normally-robust online service today) but, playing Devil's Advocate with your choice of title, I don't think there's ever a good point for banks to be out of service or offline, is there?

This sort of thing neatly demonstrates the most compelling argument to be made in favour of keeping some cash about your person, IMO. Cash has a number of problems, but "sorry, your bank is currently unavailable" is not one of them!

1
1
jai
Silver badge

Re: Less than ideal

either carry cash (although, presumably at some point you need to use a card to get it from an ATM, or travel to your nearest branch, during business hours on weekdays)

or multiple cards with a range of different banks. it's unlikely they're ALL going to go offline at once, provided no Acts of Tyler Durden.

4
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Less than ideal

I'm assuming since you're reading El Reg that you at least have an interest in IT.

You're probably aware of the concept of resilience? You of course have more than one card from a different provider with you?

Agreed, maybe not "ideal", but shit happens and you need to look out for yourself. And before everyone points it out, yes there are scenarios where this fails - but they're not your inability to pay since you've offered two different types of payment.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Less than ideal

In my case, yes I have more than one card. Unfortunately, most of 'em are stuffed, so most of the time only one has enough credit for doing stuff.

Also, having only one card on me means that if I ever get mugged, the mugger will only be able to empty one of my cards instead of all of 'em.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Less than ideal

This be the reason I carry at least two cards from different banks/CC providers, usually at least one will work...

0
0
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Less than ideal

@Captain Underpants:

'Robust" is hardly a word that can be applied to HSBC or it's 'service' offerings. I live on ATMs, I have even built hotels using ATMs for cash.

But relying on HSBC UK is an exercise in frustration. In fact, nowadays, I always pull a credit check for the senior bank official and chairman of the board so I have their private numbers with which to seek help. I don't abuse the knowledge - in case they change their numbers - but have it in case nothing else works .

Contrary to HSBC belief they do NOT have the best technology, or the best security, or even thee most reliable service, which is why I have two banks in every country I bank in.

One idea behind ATMs is to reduces thee amount of cash you keep about your person or property. For safety reasons.

1
2
Anonymous Coward

Anyone else?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/21/rbs_chernobyl_one_year_on/

^ One year on from RBS, and the same day as that article goes up. I love the cosmic coincidence creator.

3
0
Thumb Down

"We are sorry for ANY impact"

It always annoys me when company say something like:

"We are sorry for ANY impact"

Surely it should be

"We are sorry for THE impact"

Is it only me?

I'd have thought this would be apologies 101!

3
0
Bronze badge
Happy

Re: "We are sorry for ANY impact"

'THE' impact is negative.

'ANY' impact is positive or negative depending if you experienced the fault. If you wern't trying to use the knackered service at any point, then it doesn't affect you and you're less likely to be upset.

Its the subconscious psychological engineering companies like to exercise in communications to try and put a positive uptick . Of course, many people don't fall for it, but those that do hopefully feel a little better.

2
0
Silver badge
Devil

Re: "We are sorry for ANY impact"

The phrase "Sorry for any..." feels like "Nya nya, we don't really give a toss" to me, and I doubt I'm the only one who feels like that.

4
1

Re: "We are sorry for ANY impact"

It reminds me of "... Your call is important to us..." when, surely, a less defensive (so more believable) way of putting it is "... Your call is important to us..."?

It's almost as if they want you to know they're lying and they couldn't give a shit.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: "We are sorry for ANY impact"

It's not psychological or grammatical trickery it's simply the correct phrasing since the problem affected multiple systems and uses of those systems so had different impacts.

Trying to pay for something by card? You couldn't pay and it's a bit embarrassing.

Wanted to transfer money to a savings account? You've lost out on a day's interest.

Wanted to check your balance? Nope can't do that right now.

The scenarios and levels of impact are various so saying 'any impact' is perfectly proper.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: "We are sorry for ANY impact"

We need a Honey Badger icon (as it Doesn't give a $H!T )

0
0
Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

My card was declined at about 1:40pm, but went through on the 2nd attempt; I just hope the ~£500 I deposited 20 minutes earlier doesnt fall between the cracks somewhere.

(Although I REALLY, REALLY hope the £200 cash withdrawal does go missing ;-) )

Paris, cos her money slot ALWAYS works.

1
0
Silver badge
Joke

It's all in the Name

Unfortunately, HSBC was interpreted by the new Deep Packet Inspection Filters as either Horny Slutty Bondage Club or as Hillegal Sharing Bittorrent Client.

Can't be careful enough to protect the children and the income of the studios; a few inconveniences on the way are to be expected.

Or the Feds couldn't keep up with the amount of data that needed to be stored (you know, encrypted comms are suspicious) and had to slow it down a bit . . .

Not really sure whether the joke icon is appropriate.

7
0

This post has been deleted by its author

They better be careful.

If this affects their Mexican or Iranian clientele there may be repercussions like possible cases of lead poisoning.

1
0
Pint

Bring back the cash economy!

For years I've used cards only for two purposes: online purchases (credit card) and withdrawing cash from a machine firmly attached to a High St clearing bank (debit card). Withdrawls are generally in amounts sufficient to keep me going for a week or so, so the odd day of outage isn't a problem - especially because when one bank's machine is down, there's another bank just along the street I can go to instead.

Everything bought in person is with cash, up to a value where cheques or bank transfers are acceptable, maybe 500 quid or so. I've even been known to buy a second-hand car with four grand in used 20s. (And come to think of it, I've also been known to pay an 800-quid council tax bill in 2p pieces - but that's what you get if you make me angry.)

Cash is brilliant - you never have to wait for it to be authorised, no-one can nick it without you noticing, and no advertising targetters or police-state-surveillors know what you spend your money on. IIRC cards were originally sold to us on the basis that carrying a card was safer than carrying cash, because you could get mugged and have your wallet nicked. But now you can lose far more by having your card cloned or your account hacked - and you can still get your wallet nicked, except now they have an incentive to pull out your fingernails one by one until you tell them your pin number.

Also, I hear the government disapprove of people using cash, so it's worth doing just to annoy them.

NB - please note that the word "cash" is obsolete usage - the proper term is "beer tokens".

23
6
Pint

Re: Bring back the cash economy!

"I hear the government disapprove of people using cash, so it's worth doing just to annoy them"

have a Friday afternoon beer for that one :)

7
0
Gold badge

Re: Bring back the cash economy!

But now you can lose far more by having your card cloned or your account hacked - and you can still get your wallet nicked, except now they have an incentive to pull out your fingernails one by one until you tell them your pin number.

No comment needed - just a copy so it can be upvoted twice. Absolutely spot on.

6
0
Bronze badge

Re: Bring back the cash economy!

Upvoted. I'm very much low-tech cash only too, with the same exceptions as you.

However "I've also been known to pay an 800-quid council tax bill in 2p pieces". Surprised you got away with it. Being legal depends on the amount tendered:

<http://www.royalmint.com/aboutus/policies-and-guidelines/legal-tender-guidelines>

"

Coins are legal tender throughout the United Kingdom for the following amount:

£5 (Crown) - for any amount

£2 - for any amount

£1 - for any amount

50p - for any amount not exceeding £10

25p (Crown) - for any amount not exceeding £10

20p - for any amount not exceeding £10

10p - for any amount not exceeding £5

5p - for any amount not exceeding £5

2p - for any amount not exceeding 20p

1p - for any amount not exceeding 20p

"

OTOH 40,000 cheques for 2p apiece would be cool.

4
0

Re: Bring back the cash economy!

£800 in 2p pieces? Really? I'd be amazed if they accepted that. If they did for you, you must have got them on a good day. Technically 2p pieces are only valid up to a payment amount of 20p. £1 coins are the lowest denomination you can pay an unlimited amount in. (http://www.royalmint.com/aboutus/policies-and-guidelines/legal-tender-guidelines)

1
0
Thumb Down

Re: Bring back the cash economy!

Don't lie. The council have no obligation to accept £800 in 2p pieces. They'd quite rightly tell you to get fvcked and do you for non payment.

2
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Bring back the cash economy!

An ex-poll-tax-collector colleague advises that when "Mr. Smith" FINALLY agreed to pay his bill they were so happy at saving the ongoing legal costs, they let him pay in coppers.

But they made him count it out in front of them first. Evil, those council-types...

1
0
Mushroom

Re: Bring back the cash economy!

> Don't lie. The council have no obligation to accept £800 in 2p pieces.

I'm not lying - I knew at the time that they'd have been within their rights to refuse it, but I think the person at the pay-desk was (surprise surprise) not trained to this level of detail about her job. And I think the council needed the money.

Mind you, I felt so sorry for her afterwards that I went out and bought her a box of chocolates. There's no point in kicking the little people for the sins of the system.

Actually I think I am lying in one respect - it was only about 300 quid, not 800. But it did happen.

3
0
Silver badge
WTF?

Re: Bring back the cash economy!

The fact governments dislike/disapprove of something immediately makes it potentially attractive to me. I have not made a personal credit card purchase for over 40 years, including vehicle purchases, and get a certain perverse delight when I hit a banks 'big cash' reporting limit.

All this to satisfy the US government.

For many of the same reasons @Blitheringeejit enumerated, I love cash.

I also use a double account system. My 'big money' in a savings account with only in-person or InterNet access and a banking account with ATM access. I move money from savings to banking when I know I will need cash.

And I have peace of mind knowing the largest amount that can be stolen from me is the amount in my 'banking' account - of course with the proviso that the HSBC occasionally steals my funds without explanation (really).

0
1
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Bring back the cash economy!

Once I was ordered to pay $200 in a court penalty.

I did, in nickels (5 cents), and dumped on the clerk's desk in bags!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Bring back the cash economy!

"But now you can lose far more by having your card cloned or your account hacked"

... which is usually covered by the bank, therefore you don't actually lose anything.

And if you get mugged off by a dodgy transaction, fake goods, faulty good etc, you have something called chargeback to fall back on.

That being said, I still wish I was rich enough to carry around a roll of fifties in my pocket...

2
0
Bronze badge

Re: Bring back the cash economy!

Cash is actually an interest free loan from you to the Bank of England.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Bring back the cash economy!

Nonsense.

If someone mugs me and takes my cash, it's gone.

With a card, I'm fully covered and protected from theft and malicious use of the card.

Such a silly opinion and you quite clearly live in the middle ages if you aren't willing to embrace the technology of card usage.

One day cash will be defunct and obsolete.

3
0
Bronze badge
Thumb Down

AC @23:29 - Re: Bring back the cash economy!

Wrote :- "If someone mugs me and takes my cash, it's gone. With a card, I'm fully covered and protected from theft and malicious use"

...... assuming you win the argument with the bank that it was not your fault.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Bring back the cash economy!

Jesus, didn't know we had so many tin-foil hat wearing alarmists around here, only paying in cash so y'know, THE MAN can't track you, if you must use a card, keep two separate accounts - one with your cash in it not linked to anything (call this your black account), no internet banking, no cards, need authorisation of at least two people plus visual identity checks before you can withdraw anything, and your other (red) account with just a minimum float in it which you might need accessible via a card, to minimise losses should (or *when*, remember bad will happen) it be compromised.

Or, you can do what I've safely done for the last 30-odd years, realise your money is protected IF (not WHEN) your card is compromised and it's not your fault, and just live and enjoy life without all the fucking hassle your tin foil hat causes. Oh, and stop being an irritating prick for the sake of it - I mean, really, fucking with THE MAN by paying in coppers? THE MAN doesn't give a shit, but the poor clerk does. THE MAN just sees the total figure on a balance sheet, thanks for paying up, regardless how you do it. Well done.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: "Cash is brilliant - [..] no-one can nick it without you noticing"

I'm sure the muggers agree with you wholeheartedly.

What I'm not sure of is if they care that you notice the beating they just gave you.

2
0
Bronze badge
Devil

I shall assume the organisation supposedly investigating the RBS issue in the other article are going to have twice the amount of work to do now then..... Of course going on the comments in the other article - one might think RBS brought down HSBC to take the heat of themselves so they can point at HSBC and say - see - we aren't the only ones who screw up......

0
0

My local council...

In my neighbourhood office yesterday, I needed to pay for a spare front door key. They would only accept debit cards, no cash!

(We used to be able to pay with cash, or card. Problem started 10 - 15 years ago, when one of the neighbourhood accountantcy blokes got addicted to drugs. The cash reservoir very quickly disapeared and as is typical of local government they promptly stopped everyone paying by cash. For a while they had a really great system where you had to get a chitty from the office, then take it to the post office to pay, then go back for the permit/key/whatever.)

P.

0
0
LDS
Silver badge

Re: My local council...

"For a while they had a really great system where you had to get a chitty from the office, then take it to the post office to pay, then go back for the permit/key/whatever.)"

That's how it works in Italy where the government never trusted its own employees to manage money. For example to ask a passport: 1) Go to the passport office and collect all needed papers. 2) Go to a post office and pay the passport request 3) Go to an authorized revenue stamps reseller (which for historical reasons are usually tobacco shops...!) and get the required stamp 4) Return to the passport office....

At least with credit cards step 2 in no loner necessary.

0
0

"(And come to think of it, I've also been known to pay an 800-quid council tax bill in 2p pieces - but that's what you get if you make me angry.)"

That would be over 280kg of coin and generally 4x the stock level held at even large of branches so you methinks your're making shit up.

Also, 2p coins can only be used to settle debt up to 20p, that is their legal tender limit. Which means any body or organisation is well within their right to reject payment made above that value.

From the Royal Mint and Bank of England:

"Notes:

In England and Wales the £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes are legal tender for payment of any amount. However, they are not legal tender in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Coins:

Coins are legal tender throughout the United Kingdom for the following amount:

£5 (Crown) - for any amount

£2 - for any amount

£1 - for any amount

50p - for any amount not exceeding £10

25p (Crown) - for any amount not exceeding £10

20p - for any amount not exceeding £10

10p - for any amount not exceeding £5

5p - for any amount not exceeding £5

2p - for any amount not exceeding 20p

1p - for any amount not exceeding 20p"

This also points out an other curiosity:

Yes, that is right Scottish notes are NOT legal tender outside of Scotland!

AND English money is not legal tender in Scotland.

5
0
Bronze badge
Stop

I always thought that Scottish (and Northern Irish) notes weren't legal tender ANYWHERE for any amount.

2
2

Legal Tender

To be honest the term Legal Tender isn't that important.

In the United Kingdom the only bank notes that are legal tender are the Bank of England notes in England (and maybe Wales, not quite sure). Notes issued by Scottish and Northern Irish banks are not legal tender anywhere. However they all (including the Bank of England notes) have the "promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of ..." and are backed up by the relevant bank, therefore people use them (the alternate would of course be to trade goods).

I guess in the context of paying a £800 council tax bill in 2p coins, yes it's not a "legal tender" payment, but its still a payment in a legal currency, and therefore there is no legal reason for it to not be accepted.

0
0
Flame

Get over it eveery company has issues every now and again the world isn't world if you think you can do a better job go ahed

0
6
Silver badge
Windows

You better learn to spell and express yourself correctly, son.

2
1

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.