An upgrade to a telephone banking system for business customers caused some HSBC retail customers problems on Saturday (24 February).
An HSBC spokesman said that some customers could not complete some debit transactions. "The issue was caused when new coding was put into the telephone banking service for business customers," he said.
Retail customers were affected because their details reside on the same database as business customers. "All services use the same customer database, so if you have a failure at one point it can bring down other points of the network," said the spokesman.
He said the problems were intermittent on Saturday with some failures in ATMs or retailer systems communicating with the database.
The bank said that the system was up and running as normal by early evening on Saturday.
This puts into perspective the challenges faced by banks as they attempt to integrate customer details across their businesses on fewer databases.