Understanding how and why we use cookies

We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website (hsbcadvance.com). Among other things, the cookies we use allow us to improve your experience when using our Site and to ensure the Site performs as you expect it to. This Cookie Policy explains what cookies are, how we use them on hsbcadvance.com and what benefits they bring.

On Local Sites which are linked from this Site, cookies may be used to allow you to log on to Internet Banking, choose log-in preferences, and apply for products and services online and use financial tools. Please bear in mind that HSBC Group Members will have their own privacy and cookie policies that will govern their use of cookies on Local Sites and any information you submit on a Local Site. Please read carefully any Local Site and/or Product terms and conditions before using the Local Site or product.

As you may be aware, recent legislation requires websites to gain visitors' consent to use certain cookies. As a group, HSBC is working to implement appropriate changes to its websites as soon as possible.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small text files that are sent to and stored on your computer, smartphone or other device for accessing the internet, whenever you visit a website. Cookies are useful because they allow a website to recognise a user's device. On this Site, the cookies we use include 'analytics' cookies, to analyse how users use this Site to help us make our website better for those who visit it regularly, and 'load balancer' cookies, which are essential to ensure performance of the Site.

Local Sites may use cookies for a variety of other reasons including to determine preferences, let users navigate between pages efficiently, verify the user and carry out other essential security checks. Local Site cookie policies will explain how they use cookies.

Some of the functions that cookies perform can also be achieved using similar technologies. This policy refers to 'cookies' throughout, however is to include these alternate mechanisms.

For more information, about cookies can be found on allaboutcookies.org

How cookies make our websites safer and easier to use

Cookies are used for a variety of reasons, such as to improve the functionality and performance of this Site and safeguard your privacy when browsing our Local Sites. They can allow you to use functions such as being able to find and compare mortgages and use secure online application forms. If you leave a secure session window open when logged in to Internet Banking, cookies will enhance your security by prompting you to end, and/or automatically ending, your secure session.

We use 'analytics' cookies on this Site to help us make the Site better for those who visit it regularly. They help us work out what users like and don't like and how we can improve things for you.

When we include links to other websites, please bear in mind they will have their own privacy and cookie policies that will govern the use of any information you submit. We recommend you read their policies as HSBC Holdings plc is not responsible or liable for their privacy practices.

How we work with trusted third parties

Third parties are trusted suppliers to HSBC Holdings plc and include those partners who provide important functionality to our websites.

In relation to Local Sites, third parties may include local suppliers to HSBC Group Members, such as website insurance policy providers.

We will not share any personal information gathered through cookies on this Site with third parties but Local Sites may do so in accordance with their own cookie policies.

How you can manage your cookies

The browsers of most computers, smartphones and other web-enabled devices are typically set up to accept cookies. If you wish to amend your cookie preferences for this Site, any Local Sites or any other websites, you can do this through your browser settings. Your browser's 'help' function will tell you how to do this.

However, please remember that cookies are often used to enable and improve certain functions on our Site. If you choose to switch certain cookies off, it is likely to affect how our Site works.

More information about how to disable cookies, visit allaboutcookies.org

Frequently asked questions

What has changed, and how does this affect me?

We have always used cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website. As part of a change in legislation, all websites are now required to provide additional information on what cookies are, how they are used and what benefits they bring.

These changes will not affect the way in which you currently use our website. In addition, we are working on further changes that will soon allow you to amend your preferences for certain cookies on our website.

Do I need to accept cookies?

The current changes to our website simply explain what cookies are, how we use them and what benefits they bring. You are not currently required to do anything, other than read our Cookie Policy to understand these changes.

Do HSBC Cookies contain my personal information?

Our cookies do not store personal information such as your name, address, telephone or email.

Do cookies mean I could get cold calls or junk mail?

We never use the data gathered through cookies to contact you via post, email or phone. Our local websites may use cookies to show you subtly tailored content on their site of things they think you might be interested in, but only in relation to HSBC products and services. You will never see advertising on our local websites from anyone other than HSBC Group companies and our agents.

Can cookies pass on my personal information to others?

The only time our local websites may share personal information gathered through cookies, is when you have given them express consent to do so by applying for a product or service. For example, if you were applying for a home insurance policy, they would inform you that they would be passing your details to our trusted home insurance policy provider.

Do cookies compromise my security when I'm logged on to Internet Banking on our local website?

The cookies we use are completely safe. In fact, many of them are used by our local websites purely to provide important security features such as protecting your data and your accounts.

Can cookies allow others access to my computer's hard drive?

The cookies we use cannot look into your computer, smartphone or web-enabled device and obtain information about you or your family or read any material kept on your hard drive.

If I use a public computer, will someone be able to get my details from the cookies?

Our cookies cannot be used by anyone else who has access to the computer to find out anything about you, other than the fact that someone using the computer may have visited a certain website. The cookies from our local websites do not in any way compromise the security of Internet Banking.

List of our cookies

Essential cookies

These cookies are vital to us providing key features of our website, such as the ability to use online tools, log on securely and save your favourite articles.

Cookie Name
This ensures that traffic to our site is split equally between several different servers to prevent our service from slowing down.
This is important for session security as it identifies users by browser.Without it, the server cannot differentiate between different users on the same session using different browsers.
This helps us recognise whether you are using the Secure Key during secure https encrypted sessions.
Allows us to display a banner on our website informing you that we have updated our cookie policy. It also allows us to remove the banner once it has been displayed a total of three times.