HSBC suffers IT outage

Today, HSBC online banking suffered an IT outage that caused significant disruption to its customers, especially those with a Banking for Business account. looking to use their online business banking accounts were severely disrupted.

Guillaume Ayme, IT operations evangelist at Splunk helps define an outage as “any service downtime or IT outage that means customers cannot access their financial data puts pressure on the bank or building society responsible.

HSBC’s online business banking portal was down earlier today, affecting thousands of users. The cause of the outage has not yet been made clear, but many customers found that when logging into their accounts they were confronted with plain text.

>See also: Another day, another deadline making IT outage

In response to hundreds of customers’ queries and complaints HSBC wrote on its Twitter feed that “we are aware of the issues with Business Internet Banking and we’re working to resolve these”.

Speaking to an HSBC customer via its official support account, the bank tweeted: “I am really sorry, we are currently experiencing issues with Business Internet Banking running slow, if you cannot log on right now, please try again later. Please accept my apologies, we do have a specialist team working hard to resolve the system problem.”


According to a website called Down Detector, which measures social mentions around specific topics to gauge the scale of an outage, it estimates that approximately 68% of HSBC customers are/were experiencing problems with their online banking.

Ayme emphasised the financial affect an outage could have on an organisation, citing recent research into IT outages carried out by Quocirca. “The average cost of service downtime to a financial services organisation is over £105,000 per event with the value of more significant outages being far higher. With companies averaging three outages per month, losses can be significant over a financial year – £3.78m over 12 months for an average financial institution. Customers have high expectations of their financial services providers, so the reputational impact can be considerable, too.”

>See also: How an IT outage could determine the US election

In a statement to an HSBC spokesperson said: “Some customers are experiencing a slow running service on our internet and mobile banking channels. We are investigating this issue and would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused. We would advise customers who are unable to log in on their first attempt to try again or to contact our telephone banking team.”


In response to an outage Ayme suggested that the “real test is not whether you get knocked down in the first place, it’s how quickly you (and your systems) get back up and running”.

>See also: 4 lessons learned from the Delta’s power outage

“The infrastructure behind public facing websites and applications is often complex and based on legacy systems. These infrastructures need to be modernised to support today’s demands on digital services. This means it’s important to have a system that can monitor anomalies and provide insights into the issues affecting performance at the same time as delivering insights across old and new infrastructures to accelerate a digital transformation.”

Avatar photo

Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

Related Topics