HSBC UK and First Direct announced an extension of the gambling lockout grace period from 24 to 72 hours due to the increase in gambling in the recent lockout period.
When enabled, the self-restriction tool - which prevents customers from making gambling payments on their accounts - automatically rejects any gambling transactions for three days.
Recently released data from the Gambling Commission shows the 29% increase in gross profit from gambling month-on-month with lockout restrictions as well as 7% increase in active accounts.
"This is a difficult time for many of our customers, some are not working and may be struggling financially," said Maxine Pritchard, head of Finance Integration and Vulnerabilities at HSBC UK. “By increasing the restriction to 72 hours, this will help our customers stop when they feel like gambling again.
“We are always looking for new ways to support our clients and make it easier for them to manage their finances. Customer feedback on our gambling control has shown that we can do more to help and we worked closely with them and GamCare to design the solution. ”
The tool is available to HSBC UK and the first direct customers who can activate it via the HSBC UK mobile app as well as via telephone banking or going to a branch. HSBC UK has previously taken steps to protect customers by announcing in April 2020 a ban on credit card gambling.
GamCare CEO Anna Hemmings said: "The ability to block gambling transactions with a bank card or app is an important tool for those struggling with gambling and is ideally used together with other practical tools such as self-exclusion, blocking software and specialist support for this problem -" as we recently highlighted as part of our partnership and "TalkBanStop" campaign.