TSB fined £48m for botched IT migration in 2018

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) have fined TSB Bank plc a total of £48.6 million for operational risk management and governance failures, including management of outsourcing risks, relating to the bank’s botched IT upgrade in 2018.

The regulators found that TSB, owned by Spain’s Banco Sabadell, failed to organise and control the IT migration programme adequately.

TSB was fined £29.7 million by the FCA and £18.9 million by the PRA.

TSB had agreed to resolve the matter with the FCA and PRA, qualifying it for a 30% discount in the overall penalty imposed by both regulators.

“Technical failures in TSB’s IT system ultimately resulted in customers being unable to access banking services,” said the FCA.

“In April 2018, TSB updated its IT systems and migrated the data for its corporate and customer services on to a new IT platform.

“While the data itself migrated successfully, the platform immediately experienced technical failures.

“This resulted in significant disruption to the continuity of TSB’s banking services, including branch, telephone, online and mobile banking.

“All of TSB’s branches and a significant proportion of its 5.2 million customers were affected by the initial issues.

“Some customers continued to be affected by some issues and it took until December 2018 for TSB to return to business-as-usual.

“TSB has paid £32.7m in redress to customers who suffered detriment.

“TSB’s IT migration programme was an ambitious and complex IT change management programme carrying a high level of operational risk.

“Its success was critical to TSB’s ability to provide continuity of critical functions and safety and soundness.

“However, the regulators found that TSB failed to organise and control the IT migration programme adequately, and it failed to manage the operational risks arising from its IT outsourcing arrangements with its critical third-party supplier.

“Operational resilience is a priority for both the FCA and PRA.

“As demonstrated by this incident, operational disruption can cause wide-ranging harm and it is critically important firms invest in their resilience. ”

FCA Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight Mark Steward said: ‘The failings in this case were widespread and serious which had a real impact on the day-to-day lives of a significant proportion of TSB’s customers, including those who were vulnerable.

‘The firm failed to plan for the IT migration properly, the governance of the project was insufficiently robust and the firm failed to take reasonable care to organise and control its affairs responsibly and effectively, with adequate risk management systems.”

Sam Woods, Deputy Governor for Prudential Regulation and Chief Executive Officer of the PRA, said: “The PRA expects firms to manage their operational resilience as well as their financial resilience. The disruption to continuity of service experienced by TSB during its IT migration fell below the standard we expect banks to meet.”

TSB Chief Executive Officer Robin Bulloch said: “We’d like to apologise again to TSB customers who were impacted by issues following the technology migration in 2018.

“We worked hard to put things right for customers then and have since transformed our business.

“Over the past four years, we have harnessed our technology to deliver new products and better services for TSB customers.”