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TSB chief to be grilled over online banking chaos

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
TSB and parent company Sabadell are to be questioned by MPs this week over the IT problems it suffered which left millions of customers without access to their accounts.

The influential Treasury Committee will take evidence from TSB and parent company Sabadell on Wednesday 2 May after customers were locked out of accounts for days following its banking platform upgrade.

CEO, Paul Pester, along with chairman of TSB, Richard Meddings and a representative of Sabadell (yet to be confirmed) will be questioned.

Chair of the Treasury Committee, Nicky Morgan MP wrote to Pester last week demanding answers over the IT meltdown and the CEO responded with an apology to customers and pledged to waive overdraft fees and interest charges.

Interest on the TSB Classic Plus Account will be raised from 3% to 5% for both new and existing customers, it confirmed.

However, Pester has also responded to Morgan’s questions. In his letter to the MP, he wrote: “A number of fixes have been implemented over the days since the new platform came into operation. The work by IBM and others will lead to a detailed remediation plan aimed at enabling TSB to provide a full suite of services to its customers as soon as possible and the delivery of a robust architecture.

“In addition to fixing the technology issues we have found with the platform, we have launched a proactive customer redress programme. The objective of the programme is to make good on my commitment that no customer will be out of pocket as a consequence of these issues.

“The redress programme includes responding to individual complaints from customers, proactively identifying customers through social media and through our own data who we think may be suffering hardship and a blanket waiving of all overdraft charges, fees and interest for all customers for the month of April.”

Regarding reports that customers could view other users’ data, Pester wrote: “Having completed an investigation I can confirm that 402 customers were able to see data we normally would not make available to them. I have written to all 402 customers apologising for this. Within these 402 customers all payments were investigated with one eventually being identified as fraudulent. The customer will be remediated in our normal way.”

Morgan replied: “The Treasury Committee is extremely concerned by the problems at TSB, and by the apparent miscommunication to customers about the extent and nature of these problems.

“It’s been reported that services such as online banking have been down for some TSB customers for over a week. Many individuals and businesses will have made arrangements for the planned outage, but not for the additional time that the systems have been unavailable.

“We will take evidence from TSB and Sabadell representatives to find out how they got into this mess, who is responsible, and how they are putting it right.”

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