Banking giant HSBC UK has partnered with gambling charities Gamcare and Gamble Aware to launch a self-restriction tool for its customers allowing them to block gambling transactions.
Now HSBC UK account holders with a debit or credit card can avail of the self-restriction feature through ‘Manage Cards’ section on the HSBC UK mobile app, as well as via telephone banking or by visiting a branch.
Once a customer is registered, all gambling-related transactions will be automatically blocked. The feature can only be reversed after a minimum of 24 hours of cooling off period.
The bank said that about 504,000 of its UK customers made monthly gambling payments in 2018, with an average transaction value of £52.50.
“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, development director at GamCare, 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.”
Last week, HSBC bank through its twitter handle has revealed that it could implement some restrictions on transactions related to online gambling services by 2020.
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.”