Online banking crashed for several Hong Kong banks on Monday as news spread that the government has started transferring a HK$10,000 handout that was announced as a step to boost the local economy with the city facing an economic slump.
At least two banks, HSBC and Standard Chartered, said on their websites that some customers may experience a slow response or service connection issues due to a large number of people using the service.
Several people posted on social media that they were having trouble logging into either online or mobile banking.
One person said that they tried calling the HSBC hotline but was unable to get through because the line was busy, while someone else said that they were unable to log in to their HSBC online banking for at least two hours.
Last week the government had said that those who registered for the handout, which was announced in February's budget to help mitigate against the Covid-19 pandemic, would start receiving money from Monday.
Financial Secretary Paul Chan confirmed on Sunday that around 5.76 million people have registered for the payment so far, and that the 4.3 million people who did so last month will receive their handout first.
All permanent residents in the city are eligible for the cash, even those who are not currently residing in Hong Kong.