Major international bank HSBC has announced an increase in its cooling-off period for all gamblers to 72 hours as part of its self-exclusion measures.
Previously, players who used the bank’s features needed to wait 24 hours before they were able to turn them off and make betting-related transactions again.
HSBC decided to increase the cooling-off period after data from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) revealed a 7% increase in active player accounts across the country.
“A challenging time for many of our customers”
Commenting on these changes, the bank acknowledged the difficult times that many customers were facing. As a result, it feels like extra safety measures are necessary.
Head of Financial Inclusion and Vulnerability, Maxine Pritchard, said the following.
“This is a challenging time for many of our 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.”
How does HSBC’s self-exclusion tool work?
Players who have opted into the HSBC self-exclusion tool are blocked from making any form of gambling-related transaction from their account. The tool is designed to help players better-control their finances and avoid making any rash decisions.
The app can be turned on either through the mobile app, going into a local branch or ringing up by telephone. All UK First Direct customers also have access to the tool.
HSBC also has specialist support available for vulnerable customers who feel like they are at risk from adverse gambling habits. Alongside their in-house support services, the bank also commits to referring vulnerable customers to external organisations if help is needed.
“An important tool”
Commenting on the extension of HSBC’s self-exclusion cool-off period, GamCare CEO Anna Hemmings said the following.
“The ability to block gambling transactions through your bank card or app is an important tool for those struggling with their gambling, and 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.”