HSBC Bank, one of the largest banking and financial service operators in the UK and on a global scale, is likely to implement some restrictions on transactions related to online gambling services by 2020. This could mean that daily spending limits similar to the ones on withdrawals from ATMs could be underway.
At the beginning of the week, HSBC UK confirmed in a tweet that the bank is preparing to introduce a special algorithm into its online and mobile banking platform as part of the upcoming technical updates that are set to be made in November or December 2019. Under the planned updates, some new limits on online payments will be implemented as part of the new software releases which are planned for the period.
The announcement came as a response to a challenge which Tony Franklin, a problem gambler, posted on his Twitter account. The gambling addict, whose lifetime gambling losses amount to about £1 million, is the creator of the Gambling Hurts advocacy group. At the beginning of the week, he posted a question to several large financial institutions that offer their services in the UK – Lloyds Bank, Barclays, NatWest, HSBC and Metro Bank – asking them who would be the first to set a daily spending limit for gambling-related transactions.
Who will be first to implement default daily spend limit for gambling transactions similar to #ATM limits? @monzo @StarlingBank @Cashplus @RevolutApp @curve @Barclays @LloydsBank @MetroBank_Help @tescobankhelp @NatWest_Help @santanderukhelp @HSBC_UK @CapitalOneUK @mmhpi https://t.co/yJ7iJKBbKq
— Tony Franklin (@GamblingHurts) November 4, 2019
Shortly after that, the HSBC UK used its account on Twitter to post a reply to his challenge, saying that it such transaction restrictions have already been considered by them and a release of a special algorithm is set to take place in November or December.
Hi Tony, speculative transaction restrictions is on our roadmap already, we're planning to release this algorithm during upcoming November/December builds. ^Mill
— HSBC UK (@HSBC_UK) November 4, 2019
Online Gambling Spending Limits Recognised as One of the Top Priorities of Regulators and Financial Service Operators
Lately, stricter control on online gambling and spending on gambling services offered over the Internet has been set as one of the top priorities of competent regulators in the UK. Apart from that, online gambling spending and limits on online gambling transactions have been among the top recommendations made by the all-party parliamentary group which made certain recommendations to the British authorities and gambling watchdogs at the beginning of the week.
The group suggested that the addition of a single sign-on mechanism would be a good idea as it would provide gamblers with the chance to set mandatory deposit limits for all gambling websites that are licensed in the UK. The recommendations made by the all-party parliamentary group also involved affordability checks for each individual who gambles on the Internet.
A number of large financial institutions in the UK, including Barclays, Starling and Monzo, have started introducing certain tools which provided their customers who used the banks’ mobile applications to suspend all gambling transactions. Back in March 2019, Cashplus made an update, allowing its British customers to ban credit card transactions to gambling websites, along with some other restrictions on money withdrawals through automated teller machines within its app.
At the end of October, UK retail and commercial bank NatWest revealed new measures aimed at providing professional help to British gambling addicts. NatWest revealed that problem gamblers would be able to book counselling sessions with professionals using the neutral environment of its branches across the country. Apart from that, NatWest also shared intentions to allow the users of its mobile application to block gambling transactions as part of its anti-gambling and raising gambling awareness policy.