x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

HSBC customers in UAE and Gulf left furious over glitch which stopped cards working

HSBC customers vent their fury on social media after they were unable to use their debit cards, credit cards and withdraw cash from ATMs.

HSBC suffered a technical glitch yesterday. Rich-Joseph Facun / The National
HSBC suffered a technical glitch yesterday. Rich-Joseph Facun / The National

HSBC customers vented their frustration at the bank on Sunday after a technical glitch left them unable to withdraw cash from ATMs or use their credit cards or debit cards.

While the bank was quick to post an apology on Twitter, many customers complained that the should have been alerted of the system error sooner.

“Our apologies for any inconvenience you may have experienced,” HSBC said in a post. “We would like to inform you that the issue has been resolved.”

Still many, like Twitter user MarieWestK, felt the apology was too late. “Dear @HSBC_UAE_Help, next time the national network is down, would be nice to be informed by mail or sms, 2nd time in 2w, super annoying.”

It was too early to say how much damage to retail spending the disruption caused, though indications suggested that businesses did not pay a high price for the inability of some customers to pay for goods and services.

“We knew there was a problem because some customers mentioned the inconvenience,” said Collette Shannon, a spokeswoman at the supermarket chain, Spinney’s. But she said it was “not a major issue”.

An HSBC spokesman said that the problem, without elaborating on the cause, was brief and that “all systems have been fully restored”.

The disruption was for about an hour and nothing so far suggests that it could have been the result of an attack on HSBC’s system by hackers or the result of other criminal activity, the spokesman added.