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HSBC, Virgin Money and Nationwide customers suffer online banking outage

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a HSBC bank branch in the City of London

LONDON (Reuters) - Customers of HSBC, Nationwide and Virgin Money suffered outages to their online banking services on Friday, in the latest such disruption to plague an industry which increasingly relies on such digital access as it closes physical branches.

Thousands of HSBC customers in Britain were unable to access online banking services on Friday, as the bank acknowledged an outage affecting some users of its website and banking app.

The bank said at 1115 GMT it had restored access to online and mobile banking, after more than 7,000 customers had complained of problems, according to website DownDetector which tracks such outages.

A spokesperson for the bank said a separate issue was affecting payments across several banks, causing delays in transactions between customers as well as failure notifications.

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Virgin Money said some of its customers could not access online and mobile banking, while Nationwide said some customers' salary or pension payments were delayed.

Customers of all three reported being unable to access their money or pay bills, according to posts on X.

Disruption of online banking services has been a persistent problem for banks in Britain in recent years, and an acute one because lenders have increasingly encouraged customers to bank online to help them reduce fixed costs.

Some 6,000 branches have closed in Britain since 2015, according to consumer publication Which?.

(Reporting by Lawrence White; editing by Tomasz Janowski and Jason Neely)