By Mark Fairlie.
Around 2 million TSB customers were unable to log in to the bank’s website on Wednesday morning until after 10 am that day following IT maintenance work which overran.
Although customers were able to log into the mobile phone app, TSB apologised stating that
“we’re really sorry the planned maintenance overnight for our online banking took a little longer than expected and apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused”. (Source: BBC News)
The outage was the third time this year that TSB customers have been affected by IT problems. In April, nearly 2 million customers could not access or use their accounts for a prolonged period. At the time, their CEO, Paul Pester, was quoted in the Telegraph as saying that the bank was “on its knees” because it could not service more than a million customers at a time using online bank services.
A further series of “intermittent outages” occurred in September 2018 at around the same time as Mr Pester resigned with a £1.7m payoff.
As a reward for their handling of the various IT crises during the year, the Guardian has asserted that “most of its employees” will receive £1,500 each as a bonus. The bank lost 21,790 customers between April 2018 and June 2018, according to BACS.
TSB, founded in its original form in 1810, operates a network of 550 branches from its headquarters in Edinburgh.
In 1995, it merged with Lloyds Bank to form Lloyds TSB. During the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, Lloyds TSB then bought troubled Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) only to be rescued by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown in a part-nationalisation. In 2013, TSB was spun out of the group and floated on the Stock Exchange, only to be bought two years later by Spanish banking group Sabadell.
The initial major outage of April 2018 was caused when the new owners tried to migrate records of TSB customers from the legacy Lloyds IT platform to the Sabadell Proteo platform used by the bank’s new owners.
During the crisis, one board member described the cause of the problems as being “human error, pride, and software failure” and that TSB had turned down an offer from previous owners Lloyds of assistance.
The bank has recruited a new leader in Debbie Crosbie to run the bank from early 2019, reports the Telegraph.
In November 2018, MPs launched an inquiry into the IT problems that TSB and other financial institutions have suffered in recent years. Speaking to the publication, Nicky Morgan, chairwoman of the Treasury Select Committee said that
“Millions of customers have been affected by the uncertainty and disruption caused by failures of banking IT systems.
“Measly apologies and hollow words from financial services institutions will not suffice when consumers aren’t able to access their own money and face delays in paying bills”.
The original April 2018 IT failure cost the bank £176m.