HSBC has confirmed that an outage at its data centre on Sunday stopped thousands of customers using their cash cards.
The crash brought down services between 12pm and 3pm when problems with the system’s communication with card reading devices prevented transactions at ATM cash machines or shops being authorised.
An HSBC spokesperson said the bank did not know why the problem had arisen and was still investigating to determine the cause.
Not all transactions were affected, with problems concentrated in the South and South West of England and worsening as demand on the system increased during the afternoon.
The system was up and running again by 3pm, the spokesperson said. “There were no problems with security or fraud, simply an unfortunate and very rare systems error.”
Earlier this month, HSBC announced it was on track to save more than 10% of its per-transaction operating costs across its worldwide operations this year, following investment in its increasingly integrated global IT infrastructure. The bank is expected to pump another £2.5bn into its IT systems this year.