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TSB chief promises ‘no one will be left out of pocket’ over banking upheaval

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
The CEO of TSB has apologised for the issues affecting its mobile app and internet banking as customers are locked out of digital services for another day.

A bungled system upgrade over the weekend has continued into the week meaning customers have been locked out of mobile and online banking services.

Initially the bank had advised customers that internet banking and services such as money transfers wouldn’t be available over the weekend, as it worked on its IT systems.

However, by Sunday evening the service wasn’t fully restored (it was scheduled to finish at 6pm on Sunday 22 April) and customers were still reporting problems on Monday. There were even reports of customers having access to accounts of other TSB customers, including account numbers, sort codes and transaction history.

And now, another day into the banking chaos, customers continue to vent on social media over data protection worries and anger about not being able to carry out essential transactions such as making mortgage payments or paying rent.

Today, CEO of TSB, Paul Pester, has “just resurfaced after 48 hours with his teams who have been working as hard and fast as they can to get services back up and running”.

In a series of tweets, Pester wrote: “This isn’t the level of service that we pride ourselves on providing, and isn’t what our customers have come to expect from TSB, and for that I’m deeply sorry.

“We’re still seeing issues with access to our digital services. One of the steps we need to take to resolve this is to take our mobile app and online banking down for a few hours.

“We’ll be taking this offline and we hope to be back up later this afternoon. We’ll let you know as soon as it’s available again.

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

Answers demanded over IT meltdown

The chair of the influential Treasury Select Committee, Nicky Morgan MP has written to Pester to demand answers over the IT meltdown at TSB.

In the letter, she wrote: “There have been widespread reports of non-availability of internet and mobile banking, after the scheduled downtime came to an end. I would be grateful to know why this has happened; the number and proportion of customers affected; the timescale over which it will be resolved; and what you will do to compensate customers who have suffered financial losses as a consequence of unexpected non-availability of internet and mobile banking.”

Morgan has also demanded more information relating to the following issues:

  • Access to other customers’ accounts
  • Erroneous balances/unauthorised transactions
  • Automated fraud prevention messages
  • Declined cards
  • Non-availability of branch services and telephone banking
  • Customer service
  • A list of all other problems experienced by customers following the system upgrade, and an indication of the scale in each case.

She added: “The reports of unauthorised transactions, access to other customers’ accounts, and failures of in-branch services have all the hallmarks of an IT meltdown.

“This is yet another addition to the litany of failures of banking IT systems. Potentially millions of customers could be affected by uncertainty and disruption.

“It simply isn’t good enough to expose customers to IT failures, including delays in paying bills and an inability to access their own money.

“Warm words and platitudes will not suffice. TSB customers deserve to know what has happened, when normal services will resume, and how they can expect to be compensated.

“I will be writing to the FCA in due course for their assessment.”

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