HSBC UK has confirmed that the cooling-off time for the gambling blocking feature has been increased from 24 hours to 72 hours.

The announcement follows that UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) revealed that gross return on gaming (GGY) was up 29% month-over-month and active accounts up 7%.

Maxine PritchardThe Head of Financial Inclusion and Vulnerability at HSBC UK said, “This is a challenging time for many of our clients, some of whom are not functioning and may face financial difficulties. By increasing the limit to 72 hours, our customers will have time to pause if they are tempted to play again.

“We’re always looking for new ways to support our customers and make it easier for them to manage their finances. Customer feedback on our gambling control showed us we can do more to help and we worked closely with them and GamCare to develop the solution. “

Once switched on, HSBC’s self-restraint tool prevents customers from making gambling payments on their accounts.

The tool also automatically rejects all gambling transactions for three days to help those who are struggling with gambling have better control over their spending habits.

It is available to both USBC UK and First Direct customers with an active debit card and can be switched on via the bank’s mobile app, telephone banking or a local branch.

In addition, HSBC and First Direct have specialized support teams to assist vulnerable customers who are at risk of financial damage from gambling, and can refer customers to outside organizations if necessary.

Anna Hemmings, GamCare CEO added, “The ability to block gambling transactions through your bank card or app is an essential tool for those struggling with gambling and is ideally used in conjunction with other handy tools such as self-exclusion, blocking software and specialist support around the topic – as we recently emphasized through our ‘TalkBanStop’ partnership and campaign.

“The University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Center has also highlighted that ‘positive friction’ like a cooling-off period is important to the success of blocks as it prevents them from being turned off in the event of an urge to play. GamCare is pleased that HSBC UK and First Direct are taking this positive step to support their customers. “

GamCare recently started its 12 months ‘TalkBanStop’ imitating together with GamBan and GambleAware, which offers free tools to help problem gamblers manage their betting behavior

Responsible proponents of gambling are not only advocating the extension of the cooling off times also called for betting providers to give their customers greater flexibility in setting their deposit limits.