The TSB boss has admitted that the bank is ‘on its knees’ as it drafts in outside help to fix the IT chaos that has locked many customers out of their accounts for a sixth day.
Chief executive Paul Pester on BBC radio pledged that ‘we will get up and come back fighting’ as he drafted in experts from IBM to help fix the botched system upgrade.
He had earlier offered up some sweeteners to TSB’s furious customers, who continued to rain down complaints on social media today as promises yesterday from the bank that systems were up and running proved premature.
The interest rate on the bank’s popular current account will go back up to 5 per cent and also announced that TSB would be waiving fees and interest charges for April for all customers.
Mr Pester said that the move to a new banking platform had given customers a ‘bumpy landing’
The bid to appease anger at three days of broken online banking – which followed the weekend shutdown that the bank employed in order to execute a major IT upgrade – comes as an estimated million customers are still having problems getting into and working their accounts.
A second shutdown on Tuesday afternoon to fix the glitches failed but TSB claimed yesterday that systems were ‘up and running’ – it was just the volume of people trying to access the online and mobile banking apps that was causing the problems.
But hundreds of messages continued to pile up on social media today from customers experiencing a host of difficulties.
Is this another of your fails? At the end of the month I always almost am over drawn yet now statements are saying I had funds in the bank? And my student finance payments aren’t showing. I really hope this isn’t someone else’s data showing on my account! #TSB #tsbfail @TSB pic.twitter.com/qw4vIMFEdW
— Stacie Clarke (@StacieLouiseC) April 26, 2018
Mr Pester told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘Many customers may have used their overdraft in April more than they were expected to.
‘They may not have been able to see their account or manage their account, so today we are announcing that there will be no overdraft fees or any overdraft charges for any of our customers through April.’
The Classic Plus current account has been a popular choice for many customers fleeing the big High Street names like RBS, Natwest, Halifax and Lloyds, which have all been hit by serious IT glitches in recent years.
During the first three months of 2018, TSB gained 7,654 more customers than it lost.
The current account used to pay 5 per cent interest on balances up to £2,000 but that was cut to 3 per cent and £1,500 18 months ago.
In a statement released alongside TSB’s quarterly results Mr Pester said that the move to a new banking platform had given customers a ‘bumpy landing’. He reassured customers that ‘the engine room of the bank is working as it should’.
During the first three months of 2018, TSB gained 7,654 more customers than it lost, as current account customers exit big High Street names like RBS, Natwest, Halifax and Lloyds.
‘This means that for the vast majority of our five million customers, everything is running smoothly,’ he added, before admitting that many customers – last night estimated at as many as half – were still experiencing problem accessing accounts through the website and mobile applications.
Mr Pester said that he was taking control of the bank’s IT services from its parent company, the Spanish bank Sabadell, and enlisting IBM to help sort out the IT mess.
‘That team of global experts will start working in Bristol, they will start working in London, they will start working across the UK. They will be reporting to me. I will take control of the platform until we get this fixed,’ he said.
‘I believe that four days in after launching a new platform only having 50 per cent of our customers being able to access our website is not good enough, therefore I am putting things right.’
Mr Pester refused to say whether he would give up his bonus. ‘It is not my decision. It is a decision of the board,’ he said.
Yesterday, the bank said it was working ’round the clock’ to fix problems that struck following a major IT upgrade on Sunday night, but said five out of every 10 customers who tried to access its internet banking service were still facing issues.
TSB had intended to complete a major IT system upgrade on Sunday evening, although problems persisted into Monday and remain for many customers despite assurances from TSB that everything was being done to fix the system.
Delays meant customers were left unable to access their money online, while a few hundred reported being able to access other customers’ accounts.
THIS IS MONEY’S FIVE OF THE BEST CURRENT ACCOUNTS