HSBC’s online banking crashed briefly on Tuesday afternoon, following a surge in users trying to log on to the system at the same time.

The surge was caused by a message sent by HSBC to its customers saying: “We have sent you an important secure message. Please log on to your HSBC Online Banking and check your inbox".

Customers rushed to log in to their accounts to view this message, causing the system to slow down and crash, according to a spokesperson for the bank. 

The message awaiting customers was a notification that the physical plastic keypad used to log on to the system would soon be replaced with a digital system.

Times of Malta received several reports of customers being unable to access their online banking, with the system immediately logging them off upon login. 

The system was restored shortly afterward, although an HSBC spokesperson admitted that online banking is still running slower than usual and will be back to normal soon.

In a statement posted on Facebook later, the bank said it had been experiencing some "intermittent problems" and that the issue has now been resolved. 

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused," it said. 

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