HSBC issues warning to customers who use ATM cash machines

HSBC UK has warned customers struggling with gambling pressures to set an ATM "limit". HSBC UK data found 56 per cent of those using the gambling freeze left it on for the whole tournament, as Euro 2024 continues with England facing Spain in the final on Sunday night.

Customers can set an ATM limit on their debit card to reduce the amount of cash they can withdraw, helping to control spending. Maxine Pritchard, Head of Financial Inclusion and Vulnerability at HSBC UK said: “Millions of people enjoy betting on sport and responsible gambling is important. Big, emotive sporting events can lead to impulsive decisions and bets customers may not be able to afford.

“We are committed to supporting our customers through such times. Our gambling freeze feature is just one of the measures we have in place to help customers getting into difficulties. We encourage everyone to think twice before switching off the freeze, stay within their spending limits and make use of our support facilities if needed. If you’re feeling vulnerable or struggling to manage your finances, we encourage you to reach out to us – we’re always here to help.”

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Hannah Bateson, Behavioural Architect at Cowry Consulting said: “When people who gamble are in these highly emotional states, any small inclination towards a win leads to overconfidence. This gets the best of their impulse control, and it doesn’t help that betting during these socially celebrated events has become the norm.

“Cowry Consulting’s work with HSBC UK looked to understand which kinds of messages, varied in content, tone, timing, delivered through specific channels - online, app, SMS - would be most effective at encouraging the use of the gambling freeze for different customers. We tailored messages to their mindsets, attitudes and emotions. For gamblers at different risk levels, it’s all the more important to make sure the right message lands at the right time, in order for the right customer to feel motivated to act.”

Raminta Diliso, Project Manager (Gambling Related Financial Harm) at GamCare, said: “Big sporting events can be triggering for people already experiencing gambling-related financial harm. That’s why gambling freezes, such as the one offered by HSBC UK, are a great way to stop gambling transactions on your debit card.”