back to article HSBC UK systems major outage

An outage in HSBC systems took down their online banking services and affected the functioning of their cards at both ATMs and points-of-sale on Friday, November 4. An HSBC UK spokesman told The Register that the bank had experienced problems since 2.45pm GMT, and that the problems were now hitting "definitely online banking …


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  1. Simon Harris


    Not enough money in my pocket for a pint... and beer-o-clock is rapidly approaching :(

  2. TRT Silver badge


    Didn't this happen last year as well? I seem to remember receiving a phone call from my ex-wife screaming at me and accusing me of somehow cancelling all her cards just to embarrass and humiliate her.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      As someone with an irrational ex like that I know how you feel. Although it would be a fun jape to pull its not worth the grief you'd get.

    2. Andus McCoatover

      Aren't you happy...

      ...she's your ex-wife!

  3. Simon Harris


    Online banking seems to be back - a bit slow, but working again.

  4. Gareth Wright

    I was said reader

    No online payments working including verified by visa. HSBC customer service confirmed

  5. dormant

    I experienced problems with HSBC's online banking about an hour ago (16:00 GMT). I just tried again (17:00 GMT) and it worked fine for me - either that or my details have been hijacked by a hacker.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks fine to me.

    Just checked HSBC and Firstdirect...all working ok.

  7. JakeyC

    Internet Banking works for me

    I can log on to check my balance and it accurately confirms that I still have no money. Oh well.

  8. Aberdeen Angus
    Black Helicopters


    Maybe they've run out of cash.

  9. Anomalous Cowturd

    Not just Honkers and Shankers...

    The ATM at the local Morrisons refused an RBS Visa debit card and a Nationwide Link card this afternoon at about 13:00, both accounts have plenty of cleared funds.

    Half an hour later, I managed to pay with the Visa, which was just as well as I had no cash!

  10. FullyGroan

    Seems fine here

    Just used online banking.. hopefully the machines will still spit out the readies for a few pints a bit later too!

  11. Caff

    Sounds like

    an ITN problem

  12. Gareth Wright

    Great! Can pay online again...but card blocked by retailer

    So HSBC will process the payment now, but because card was declined > 3 times earlier, payments with my card have been blocked for 24 hours by the retailer!

    Just charming!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Something to do the the servers or mainframe"

    No shit Sherlock!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      It could have been network, storage or software...

  14. Adam Fowler
    Thumb Down

    HSBC Visa fail...

    I can confirm HSBC servers aren't responding to online payments of HSBC Visa cards.

  15. SplitBrain

    It's a RAC cluster

    It's an Oracle RAC cluster running under Veritas Cluster and vxfs/cfs cluster filesystem.

    I was on a training course for VCS for RAC (on Solaris) with a HSBC guy, it's an 8 node RAC cluster running on T-Series Sun Servers.

    Being as it's running under Veritas Cluster, not surprising...

    1. Bronek Kozicki

      no kidding?

      Are you seriously saying someone at HSBC is running mission critical enterprise server software under some junk from Symantec ?????

    2. Kool-Aid drinker

      Veritas Cluster?

      Face, meet palm.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Ok, first off VCS is a good product, as is the filesystem and foundation suite. It's rock solid and industry standard.

      Secondly, having worked in RBS' IT for many years, I find it very hard to believe that something like this would be run on a piece of kit as small as an 8 node cluster. I find it pretty hard to believe that it's run off-mainframe.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I just checked my hsbc balance online.

    Then I paid for something with my hsbc card.

  17. andy mcandy

    maybe its...

    stuxnet, back for revenge!*

    *or payback, depending on your particular moral stance

  18. CaNsA

    hsbc had it sorted....

    pretty quickly imo.

    el reg, however, were slow on the uptake.

    report it over an hour after everyone else and 30mins before hsbc had it fixed.....

    chop chop lads!

  19. jon 72

    Penny for your thoughts

    Do I have to tell them if millions of quid mysteriously appears in my account?

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      The Machine in the Hole in the Wall Gang Master Programmers

      No, jon 72, you don't. .... because haven't you realised that there are systems in place to stop you drawing out wealth in cash. Everyone who is rich is only so by the grace of electronic transfer of digits. They don't actually do any work for their wealth, they just know someone in the know and would presume to know how the system works and then can hold it to ransom.

      Valuable CodeXSSXXXX for ZerodDay Trading Options and AIDerivatives on Mad Open Free Gray to Black and White Hatted Markets, Jim.

  20. JaitcH

    HSBC web site has Apple attitude - problem, what problem?

    I just checked the HSBC opening page which has a news box on it.

    Latest news (HSBC title)

    My Accounts updates

    Mobile View


    Global Investment Perspective

    Online security at HSBC

    Payment Protection Insurance

    Nothing reveals that they had an outage or what effects were the problem. Hardly good enough.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And all Natwest services are down this morning - since at least 7am


    We're sorry our Digital, Mobile and Telephone Banking services are currently unavailable. We're working hard to get them back up and running as soon as possible.

    We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

    1. Zot

      "We're working hard"

      Now that's funny. What they mean is they're simply doing their job, rather than swanning about on the internet and spinning in their swivel chairs!

  22. epochboy

    How about posting the *current* bank outage - natwest -


    We're sorry our Digital, Mobile and Telephone Banking services are currently unavailable. We're working hard to get them back up and running as soon as possible.

    We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

  23. Russell Howe

    And, hot on the heels of HSBC's outage, along comes Natwest. Accessing at 1017 BST 5/11/2011 gives:


    We're sorry our Digital, Mobile and Telephone Banking services are currently unavailable. We're working hard to get them back up and running as soon as possible.

    We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

    1. Jess--

      as a natwest customer I knew about the current outage 2 weeks ago (when I had to check a box to confirm that I had read the notification about it)

  24. pctechxp

    Now all becomes clear

    I ordered a Pizza from Dominos' website last night using my First Direct debit card about 9 p.m., unusually it bypassed Verified by Visa and I did wonder for a second or two whether the transaction had gone through successfully.

    Fortunately, it appears it did as Dominos gave me an order number and my order turned up just before 10 as ordered.

    As usual it was great.

  25. rototype
    Black Helicopters

    First HSBC, then NatWest

    Who's going to go down next? Are they all taking turns to see who moans loudest then just placate them and sod the rest of us?

  26. John Miles

    Perhaps we should be worrying

    Whether this Matt cartoon is true

  27. James O'Shea


    HSBC = successful pirates

    NatWest = incompetent pirates

    Barclays = slavers

    As per Slave Trade Act 1807, slavers = pirates

    Hang 'em all in chains at the high water mark.

    1. A.A.Hamilton

      @James O'Shea

      Woudln't it be more effective to use the low-water mark? Or is there something about the process of increasing tidal water depth I have misunderstood?

      1. James O'Shea

        A fairly common way of getting rid of pirates was hanging 'em at the high-water mark, and leaving their bodies to rot on the gallows. If and when the smell got to be a problem, tar was usually applied. That way all who passed by (especially other sailors) could have prolonged exposure to an Awful Example of why crime does not pay.

        Apparently seagulls and crows thought that this kind of thing was an excellent idea. Think of it as a 17th-18th century seaside bird feeder.

  28. Dominic Connor, headhunter of old London Town

    HSBC don't even tell good lies.

    As a recruiter I am seen as a naive fool, which means that HSBC card services decided to tell me that the reason for an awful screwup was that a whole batch of their cards had been compromised. Sadly for HSBC I also write for The Register and have written trading systems with my bare hands, so I contacted their media relations team about what was clearly a good story and they were caught in the trap of having to either admit they were lying to cover up their incompetence or that their security was crap, they chose to admit they were lying.

    Of course they may have been lying about that, it is HSBC card services we are talking about here.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HSBC Canada offline...

    Few minutes ago...seems we are now affected in Canada as well... :

    System message

    Please be advised Internet Banking service is currently unavailable. Please try again. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience. Please call 1-877-621-8811 (Personal Banking), 1-866-808-4722 (Business Banking) for assistance.

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