Summary: HSBC does not currently offer cryptocurrency trading on its platform. Instead, investors in the UK must go through a third–party broker if they wish to buy Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), or other cryptocurrencies by depositing GBP from their HSBC bank account.
Because of HSBC’s crypto ban and limitations on transfer to most crypto exchanges, we recommend using a multi-asset investing platform eToro instead. After analysing several trading platforms, we found eToro to be the best choice for HSBC customers, as there are no restrictions on crypto transactions, a selection of 80+ crypto coins, and some of the lowest fees. Moreover, eToro is regulated by the FCA, making it a safe and cost-effective option.
Intermediate Traders and Investors
Can you buy crypto with HSBC?
You can buy crypto with HSBC, but you need to connect to an FCA-licensed broker that offers cryptocurrencies. As mentioned above, this is because HSBC does not offer cryptocurrency services directly through its online banking platform.
How to buy crypto with HSBC?
The best way to buy Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency with an HSBC bank account in the UK is through an FCA-regulated broker like eToro, which is a licensed and widely trusted digital asset platform with over 70 cryptocurrencies and unique features such as “Copy Trading,” which enables users to copy top-performing crypto traders, in addition to a staking service, custom watchlist, as well as advanced charts and technical analysis tools.
How to buy crypto with HSBC: Step-by-Step
You can get started in minutes with four simple steps:
- Step 1: Create an account on eToro and complete your verification (personal or company);
- Step 2: Enter the GBP amount you want to deposit on the eToro platform;
- Step 3: Connect your HSBC account to deposit your selected fiat currency;
- Step 4: The final step is to find the cryptocurrency you want to purchase and execute your trade.
HSBC is a British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, England. HSBC Bank operates through an international network of 64 countries and territories across Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania, serving around 40 million customers, and offering a wide range of financial services, including personal banking, commercial banking, corporate banking, private banking, and investment banking.
Some of the countries where HSBC operates include the United Kingdom, Malta, Hong Kong, China, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, France, Germany, Australia, India, Singapore, and many others. HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services organizations in the world, with a network of over 3,800 offices.
Services offered by HSBC include:
- Personal banking: Checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans, overdrafts, home/life/travel insurance, as well as lines of credit;
- Business banking: Business checking and savings accounts, business insurance, loans, overdrafts, and lines of credit;
- Wealth management: Financial planning and investment advisory services, including cash ISAs (individual savings accounts) and managed portfolios.
HSBC UK customers
The UK-based HSBC is the second largest bank in the UK, considering the number of customers. As of 2022, HSBC had 39 million customers worldwide, coming second just after Barclays, with 48 million, according to data by Statista. HSBC was followed by Lloyds Banking Group and Natwest, with 26 and 19 million customers, respectively.
However, it is worth noting HSBC doesn’t rank at the top when it comes to customer satisfaction rates and that the leaders in this category are Starling Bank, First Direct, as well as digital-first bank Monzo.
HSBC crypto policy
HSBC is known for its anti-cryptocurrency stance and restrictive crypto policies. In fact, the CEO of HSBC, Noel Quinn, told CNBC-TV18 in September 2022:
“As a bank, we’re not getting into the crypto world, crypto trading, crypto exchanges,” referencing crypto’s valuations, he added, “As a product, I questioned its suitability for many of the consumers in the marketplace today. So that’s why HSBC’s crypto policy is more negative on digital assets than other banks.”
More recently, in February 2023, HSBC and another major UK bank, Nationwide, announced new restrictions on crypto purchases, with HSBC no longer allowing credit cards to buy digital assets. In addition, both Santander UK and Starling Bank have recently implemented similar limitations.
HSBC reportedly said in its email regarding their new rules on crypto purchases:
“From 23 February 2023, we’ll no longer allow cryptocurrency purchases using our credit cards. This is because of the possible risk to you. The Financial Conduct Authority has warned against investing in crypto assets, as they’re considered very high risk, speculative investments,” the bank emphasized.”
That said, HSBC crypto policy does not restrict its users from investing in digital assets through legitimate, FCA-regulated exchanges like eToro.
How to buy crypto safely
Crypto is still the new kid on the investment block, and the market for these instruments is highly volatile. And although extreme volatility can lead to spectacular gains, it can also see inexperienced investors suffer immense losses. On top of this, your crypto investments have become ever riskier as the crypto sphere plagues under scams, scandals, and collapses.
Furthermore, although FCA-licensed crypto brokers are required to have anti-money laundering (AML) and terrorist financing procedures in place, crypto assets themselves are not regulated in the UK. In fact, with most cryptocurrencies, investors are unlikely to have access to protections from the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if something were to go wrong.
However, there are steps crypto-enthusiasts can take to stay safe. Let’s break down a few of these tips and outline the essential guidelines for getting started with digital assets and how to best protect yourself and your money:
- Research the cryptocurrency you want to buy: Make sure you understand how it works and what the risks are;
- Only use a safe device: Avoid public computers and Wi-Fi networks. Always use your personal computer with a VPN, which helps establish a secure connection between you and the web, keeping your sensitive information safe;
- Choose a reputable exchange: Ensure the exchange is licensed by the appropriate regulators in your country and has a solid track record. Study the exchange’s user terms and agreements carefully to learn more about where your money is kept and what happens to your funds if the business goes bankrupt. You may also want to scour through user reviews to catch any red flags;
- Secure your account: Use two-factor authentication and a strong password to protect your account;
- Use a secure wallet: Store your cryptocurrency in a secure wallet to protect it from hackers. You can opt for either a hot (online) or cold (offline) wallet. To choose the right one for you, make sure to check out our in-depth guide on crypto wallets;
- Don’t invest money you can’t afford to lose: Because the crypto market can be so volatile, you need to be conservative with your investments, particularly when starting out. For more investing tips, have a look at our guide on investing mistakes to avoid;
- Monitor your investments: Keep an eye on the market and be aware of any changes in the price of the cryptocurrency you’re investing in.
Disclaimer: The content on this site should not be considered investment advice. Investing is speculative. When investing, your capital is at risk.
FAQs about how to buy crypto with HSBC:
How to buy crypto with HSBC?
You can buy crypto with HSBC by connecting your banking account to a licensed third-party trading platform that offers cryptocurrencies.
Can you buy crypto with HSBC?
While HSBC doesn’t offer crypto trading directly through its own platform, customers can connect their bank accounts to an FCA-regulated broker that offers cryptocurrencies to buy digital assets.
What crypto exchanges does HSBC allow?
Customers can connect their HSBC banking account to an FCA-licensed broker to buy crypto.
What is HSBC’s crypto policy?
While HSBC is not a crypto-friendly bank and HSBC’s crypto policy doesn’t support digital assets, customers can use their HSBC bank accounts to make deposits and/or withdraw funds from FCA-regulated investing platforms that offer trading and investment opportunities in various markets, including crypto.