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HSBC sets 72 cooling off periods to protect consumers from gambling spike

HSBC UK's waiting period has been extended to 72 hours from 24 hours following reports that gaming revenue and active accounts are increasing.

HSBC introduces 72 cooling-off periods to offset rise in gambling

HSBC UK has decided to extend the withdrawal period, banning excessive gamblers from using money on gambling products by 72 hours compared to the previous 24 hours.

The news follows an announcement of the UK Gambling Commission, the NRA, that the total gross gaming profit from gambling products increased by 29% and the number of active accounts increased by 7%, indicating increased activity among pandemonium.

HSBC was one of the first financial institutions globally and in the UK to ban the use of credit cards for gambling. The bank began actively addressing problem gambling in 2019 and has worked with government officials and the regulator.

Commenting on the latest decision, HSBC UK's director of financial inclusion and vulnerabilities Maxine Pritchard said the bank is aware of the challenges customers face and is actively trying to mitigate those issues.

She added that raising the restriction to 72 hours will help customers take some time away from gambling and avoid the temptation to gamble. HSBC is still trying to find new ways to protect consumers, Pritchard said, and added that the institution is looking at new ways to help customers self-check their gambling habits.

A solution that works, says HSBC

HSBC is working with GamCare to design even more advanced solutions that deliver verifiable results. Once a consumer opts in to HSBC's restriction tool, it will block all transactions on gambling sites, applying to all forms of transactions, particularly those involving debit cards.

The option can be enabled through the bank's app. Furthermore, HSBC is prepared to assist vulnerable customers or to those who demonstrate reckless gambling behavior, and the bank wants to refer such individuals to independent third parties who may be more prepared to assist.

Commenting on the tools used to curb gambling habits, GamCare CEO Anna Hemmings said that using tools to stop consumers from gambling excessively through apps and debit cards was an important solution to keep people safe.

In addition, Hemmings quoted Personal Finance Research Centre University of Bristol, which confirmed that withdrawal periods are a good way to help consumers alleviate their excessive need to gamble.

UKGC has banned all credit card transactions used for gambling purposes in January 2020 . Similar moves have been made by other countries, including Australia, where Bank Australia has also suspended credit card payments for gambling products.

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