TSB brings in IBM to help fix online banking problems

Paul Pester

TSB chief executive Paul Pester said on Thursday he would take control of the bank’s IT platform and bring in IBM experts to help fix its ongoing problems.

TSB customers have been hit by severe problems using online banking services over the past six days.

The problems follow a planned migration last weekend of TSB’s computer systems from the platform of its former owner Lloyds Banking Group to a newly built platform developed by its current parent bank, Catalonia’s Sabadell.

“I will take direct control from 8 o’clock this morning for our platform — I’ve drafted in a team of global experts from IBM,” Pester told BBC Radio 4.

“They are reporting to me, directly to me and I will take control of the platform until it gets fixed. I am putting things right.”

Pester also said the bank’s customers would not be charged any overdraft fees for the month of April.

“I’m very aware that many customers may have used their overdraft in April more than they would have expected to … There will be no overdraft fees or any overdraft charges for any of our customers through April,” said Pester.

TSB also announces its financial results for the three months to March 31, 2018.

TSB said it advanced £1.2 billion of new mortgage loans in the first quarter of 2018, building on the £7 billion advanced in 2017.

Total customer lending at £30.8 billion was down 0.3% year-on-year “due to the effect of the early return of the Mortgage Enhancement and the continued roll-off of the Whistletree portfolio.”

Customer deposits grew 3% to £30.6 billion.

Statutory profit before tax fell 39.3% to £19.3 million “primarily due to temporary movements in normal hedging arrangements, in turn driven by market rate fluctuations, and which will unwind in the future.”

Pester added in the results statement: “As we moved over to our new banking platform last weekend, the landing was an incredibly bumpy one for our customers, and for that I am truly sorry.

“This is not the level of service that we pride ourselves on providing – nor is it what our customers have come to expect from TSB.

“Our teams continue to work around the clock to fix the problems that some of our customers are having in accessing their TSB accounts.

“I want to reassure our customers that the engine room of the bank is working as it should.

“This means that for the vast majority of our five million customers, everything is running smoothly.

“The challenge we are facing at the moment is that while we know it’s working, one of the main ways that our customers see everything is working – through our internet banking and mobile app – isn’t functioning as well as it should be, and I can appreciate how frustrating this must be for our customers.

“Of course, customers can rest assured that no one will be left out of pocket as a result of these problems.

“To begin to put things right, we will be waiving all overdraft fees and interest charges for all of our retail and small business customers for April.

“We have achieved a tremendous amount in the past four years in building TSB.

“We clearly have some issues we’re dealing with but we will come out the other side.

“The way we deal with every single one of our frustrated customers as quickly as possible will define TSB – both now and in 10, in 15 and in 20 years to come as we continue on our mission to bring more competition to UK banking.”