How long does a bank transfer take with HSBC?

Zorica Lončar
28.01.21
2 minute read

Just opened a new account with HSBC and ready to make your first payment? One of the first things you’ll want to know is how long it’ll take.

In this guide, we’ll cover all the basics about sending money with HSBC, both in the UK and internationally. Let’s start with the info you’ll need to set up your payment.

Things you need to make a bank transfer with HSBC

To set up your first payment with HSBC, make sure you have these key details to hand:¹

  • The recipient’s full name
  • The recipient’s bank account number and sort code
  • The amount you want to send
  • For international transfers² – the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and SWIFT/BIC number for your recipient. Calculate the needed HSBC IBAN number here.

How long does a bank transfer take with HSBC?

HSBC uses the Faster Payments system, which means that your transfer should be sent instantly and received by the recipient within 2 hours³. However, it depends on whether your recipient’s bank also uses Faster Payments.

For international payments, it depends where you’re sending the money to. For example:⁴

  • Payments to accounts within the EEA (in euros or sterling) – next working day
  • Payments to accounts outside the EEA – up to 4 working days.

It could potentially take longer than this, depending on the security and other processes in the receiving country.

Isn’t a bank transfer instant?

For most payments sent using Faster Payments, transfers are instant – although they can potentially take up to 2 hours.

However, there are situations where it can take longer. Here are just a few things that can hold up your payment:

  • If the receiving bank isn’t a part of Faster Payments
  • Sending internationally – this can take up to 4 working days with HSBC, depending which country you’re sending money to
  • If the payment falls on a bank holiday in another country
  • If there’s a maintenance outage at either the sending or receiving bank.

Are there any faster international money transfer options?

If you can’t wait up to 4 working days for your international payment to go through, there’s an alternative solution available. And it could even save you money.

With Wise, you could send payments worldwide in under 2 working days⁵ – or perhaps even faster, depending where you’re sending to.

International payments with Wise are reliable and secure. You can even track your payment using the handy Wise app. And it could be as much as 8x cheaper compared to using your bank⁶, as you’ll pay lower fees and get a better exchange rate.

How do I make a transfer with Wise?

You can set up and send an international payment with Wise in just a few easy steps:⁷

  1. Open a Wise multi-currency account for free.

  2. Type in the amount you want to transfer – or the amount you’d like the recipient to receive.

  3. Choose ‘personal’ for the transfer type and enter your details, such as your address.

  4. Enter the recipient’s bank account details.

  5. Choose how you want to fund the transfer – for example, bank transfer or debit card.

  6. Take a look at the transfer fee and review the details – if you’re happy, hit ‘send’ and receive confirmation via email or in the Wise app.

And that’s pretty much all there is to it!

Join Wise for free

After reading this guide, you should have all the info you need to start making bank transfers with HSBC. It’s easy and quick for UK payments, but remember that there are alternatives out there for international transfers.

Sources used:

  1. HSBC - banking basics

  2. GoCardless - international bank transfer times

  3. HSBC - receiving time

  4. HSBC - international money transfer

  5. Wise - how long does a transfer take

  6. Wise - multi-currency account

  7. Wise - how to send money

Sources checked on 19-January 2021.


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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