TSB and parent Sabadell hire IBM following IT crash

Debbie Crosbie

TSB said on Wednesday it has selected IBM Services as its strategic partner “to accelerate the bank’s ambition to become a truly digital business with IBM cloud capabilities.”

Last November, an investigation by law firm Slaughter & May found that a massive IT crash at TSB bank in 2018 was caused by moving to a new banking platform before it had been properly tested.

TSB is currently owned by Spain’s Banco Sabadell.

Banco Sabadell, Spain’s fourth largest private banking group, also announced on Wednesday a 10-year services agreement with IBM Services “designed to help the bank boost digitization and support the strategic evolution of its business model with IBM cloud capabilities.”

As part of this move, TSB will create a new technology centre in Henry Duncan House in Edinburgh’s George Street, creating around 100 new IT jobs.

The Slaughter & May report found TSB’s board failed to fully understand the scope and complexity of the new system before its failure, which led eventually to then CEO Paul Pester leaving the firm.

The report also found that Sabadell’s IT arm Sabis had not been ready to operate the new platform and had failed to test one of two data centers it relied on prior to the launch. 

The IT crash locked out nearly two million TSB customers.

TSB said on Wednesday: “This announcement follows the bank’s pledge to invest £120 million to transform digital channels over the next three years, as part of its 2022 strategic plan, announced by the bank’s new CEO, Debbie Crosbie, in November last year and builds on TSB’s commitment in March 2019 to consolidate its IT operations and optimise how it runs its IT infrastructure and supplier relationships.

“The services agreement will see IBM build and manage TSB’s private cloud environment, running services across TSB’s core banking platforms with all of the infrastructure being operated and managed by IBM under supervision by TSB.

“By hosting and managing select services on a private cloud, operated by IBM, TSB will be able to strengthen IT resilience and leverage higher value technology, including AI, to deliver new innovative cloud-native services to its customers.

“This is the first step in the TSB strategy to optimise its new state-of-the-art platform which provides multi-cloud and data capabilities for the bank.

“All core banking channels and applications including ATMs, internet banking, mobile banking and high street branches will now run on a unified cloud platform.

“This will offer customers the best services while ensuring the security and confidentiality of their data.

“As part of this move, TSB will itself also create a new Technology Centre in Edinburgh, bringing around 100 new IT jobs to the region, including technical specialists, data engineers and analysts, and IT run specialists.

“The new Technology centre will be based in Henry Duncan House in George Street, opening in April 2020.”