HSBC UK Launches Self Restriction Gambling Tool

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HSBC UK Banking group has teamed up with industry charities GamCare and GambleAware to establish and launch a new self-restriction tool to enable their clients to block their accounts’ gambling transactions.

The service can be turned on for HSBC customers with an active debit or credit card via the’ Manage Cards ‘ page of the HSBC UK mobile app, telephone banking or branch office.

If a consumer attempts to make a transaction to a merchant in gambling after selecting the limit, it will immediately be refused. Only after a 24-hour cooling off period can the option to self-exclude certain card transactions be reversed.

In addition to the new option of self-restriction, HSBC has trained its staff in partnership with GamCare to identify and support clients with gambling addictions.

In 2018, around 504,000 of its UK customers made monthly gambling payments, with an average transaction value of £ 52.50, according to HSBC. The bank also said that it manages around 1,000 gambling-related calls a month.

“We are committed to helping customers manage their finances and that includes introducing new tools that can help control spending,” HSBC UK’s head of financial inclusion and vulnerability, Maxine Pritchard, said.

“While the option to restrict transactions will help people control their urge to gamble, we continue to work with charities and regulators on other ways in which we can ensure these customers have access to the right support.”

Mike Kenward, GamCare’s development director, also said: “HSBC UK will be giving their customers a valuable tool to help them protect themselves and have received training to support their staff to help those they identify as affected by gambling issues directly.”

Dr Jane Rigbye, director of education at GambleAware, added: “If people choose to gamble they should be able to do so in a safe environment, where the risks related to gambling, and the support services available to all are made clear.

“Initiatives like HSBC UK’s can play an important role in helping to reduce gambling-related harms and encourage people to seek help via the National Gambling Treatment Service, should they need support.”

The move comes after another banking company, NatWest, has also announced a new plan to tackle problem gambling, linking up with GamCare to help its UK branch customers.

Originally launching the new partnership in 12 branches across London and the South-East, the qualified support network of GamCare will now offer help to NatWest customers who may encounter gambling-related issues. Barclays Bank’s likes, as well as Starling and Monzo’s challenger banks, have already launched transaction-blocking functionality for customer gambling.

The move comes after another banking company, NatWest, has also announced a new plan to tackle problem gambling, linking up with GamCare to help its UK branch customers.

Originally launching the new partnership in 12 branches across London and the South-East, the qualified support network of GamCare will now offer help to NatWest customers who may encounter gambling-related issues. Barclays Bank’s likes, as well as Starling and Monzo’s banks, have already launched transaction-blocking functionality for customer gambling.

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