TSB chief executive Paul Pester will give up his “integration bonus” of £2m following the IT fiasco at the bank. However, his full pay and bonus package will not be decided until the end of 2018, the Treasury Committee has heard.
He told the committee that the bank had received 40,000 complaints after millions of customer accounts were moved to a new computer system.
MPs heard that no date could be set for the end of the fiasco, which has already lasted nearly two weeks.
“If there is one decision in my life that I could change it was the decision to go ahead with the migration. Clearly that was a terrible decision for our bank, for our customers and for me personally,” Mr Pester said.
Mr Pester argued that the migration of billions of customer records was successful “to the penny”.
The underlying engine of the bank was working well, he said, and most customers could log in normally, although there was an immediate angry reaction from those customers who could not make payments or get into the system.
He said that he could be trusted to carry on the work of the bank, and MPs heard that he would not be quitting.
“They should trust me because I will ensure I will bring TSB out of the problems we’re in. I have promised customers they will not be out of pocket,” he said.
“[The buck] stops with me. Of course I take absolute responsibility for what has happened to TSB customers.”
Mr Pester gave evidence alongside TSB chairman Richard Meddings, and Miquel Montes, chief operating officer at TSB’s Spanish owner, Sabadell, who also sits on the TSB board.
During evidence, the TSB bosses said:
- The IT work was not rushed through owing to financial incentives
- Tests before the switch were “misleading” as they did not foresee the problems with the system’s capacity
- A law firm has been called in to carry out an independent review of the saga
- Waiting times on phones was “very, very poor”
Mr Pester said that the “accessibility” problems for customers would “not be simple to fix”. He admitted that only just over half of complaints had been “acknowledged”.
Nicky Morgan, who chairs the committee, said: “What we are hearing is the most staggering example of a chief executive who seems unwilling to realise the scale of the problems that are being faced.”