Thought leadership

TSB chief Paul Pester is to step down after seven years in charge, in the wake of a major IT failure at the bank.

In April this year, customers were left without access to online banking services for several weeks when an attempt to move data to a new computer system went wrong. The bank is still struggling to get its IT systems to work properly.

On Monday, it apologised to customers who faced disruption to their online and mobile banking over the weekend.

Following Mr Pester’s departure, TSB chairman Richard Meddings will take on the role of executive chairman until a new chief executive is appointed.

“We’re really sorry that some of our customers are experiencing intermittent issues,” the bank said.

The spokesperson added: “There was an issue yesterday [Sunday] afternoon which was resolved, however customers may be experiencing a slowness in service.

“Customers are still able to use their cards as normal. We’d like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause”.

Consumer body Which? said this was a “real blow” to consumers who had stuck with the bank since April’s meltdown.

The IT problem in April was caused when customer data was migrated from an IT system operated by Lloyds Banking Group, which used to own the bank, to a new one one managed by its new Spanish owner, Sabadell.

Gareth Shaw, Which? money expert, said: “Customers can incur fines, penalties and fees when they’re not able to access their finances, so the bank must offer compensation to all those affected.

“For TSB customers at their wits’ end with the bank – there has never been an easier time to switch, and the current account switch Service makes the process as painless as possible,” he added.

In July TSB said the IT meltdown had cost £176.4m and pushed it to a half-year loss. At the time it said about 26,000 customers closed their TSB account in the second quarter of the year but that more than 20,000 customers opened a new bank account or switched their account to TSB in the same period. The bank has about five million customers.

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