HSBC extends gambling block cooling-off period

The bank says it made the change because of concerns Covid-19 lockdowns could cause an increase problem gambling.
The bank says it made the change because of concerns Covid-19 lockdowns could cause an increase problem gambling.

The British subsidiary of the international banking group has extended the cooling-off period on its gambling block to 72 hours.

UK.- HSBC UK has confirmed that it has extended the cooling-off period for its gambling block feature from 24 hours to 72 hours.

The bank says it has made the change because of concerns ongoing Covid-19 lockdowns in the UK could cause an increase in financial problems related to gambling.

Maxine Pritchard, head of financial Inclusion and vulnerability at HSBC UK said: “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.”

Customers can turn on HSBC’s self-restriction tool via the bank’s mobile app, via telephone banking or in person, to block their ability to use their accounts to make payments to gambling operators.

The tool will now automatically block any gambling transactions for at least three days. After the three-day cooling-off period, customers can choose to switch off the feature.

The responsible gambling charity GamCare has launched the campaign “TalkBanStop” with GamBan to promote the use of such tools that allow the management of gambling behaviour.

Anna Hemmings, CEO of GamCare, said: “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.”

GamBan announced last month that it would expand its tool beyond the UK for the first time.

Meanwhile, a study from GambleAware has found that customers are more likely to apply limits on igaming when they are more flexible.

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Gamban GamCare online gambling