TSB boss slammed over IT outage communication

10 Juin, 2018, 03:45 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • TSB chief Paul Pester

"The current communications were perceived as poor, and could reduce trust in TSB and in the banking sector as a whole".

Paul Pester's future as chief executive of TSB was in doubt yesterday after he was accused by Andrew Bailey, head of the Financial Conduct Authority, of giving an inaccurate picture to parliament about the bank's IT problems.

Board members at TSB have been told by MPs to urgently consider sacking chief executive Paul Pester over major IT problems at the bank.

During a planned upgrade to TSB's systems in April, there were widespread reports of internet and mobile banking being down after the scheduled downtime came to an end.

Ahead of the hearing, Mrs Morgan said she was "deeply concerned" about TSB's communication around the problems. Nearly 2 million people - more than a third of TSB's 5.2 million customers - experienced problems when making mobile and online payments as the result of a software failure, and the problems have not been entirely resolved.

Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the FCA, said that TSB senior managers had responsibility for the situation, even if they did not manage the introduction of the new technology.

Nicky Morgan, chair of the Treasury Committee, enquired about the extent of the failure and how TSB intends to compensate customers who have suffered a breach of potentially highly-sensitive personal data.

"In this regard, the tone has been set from the top, by your chief executive".

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Mr Pester apologised repeatedly as he appeared before the committee after a hard first hearing on May 2 during which chairwoman Nicky Morgan described his evidence as "the most staggering example of a chief executive who seems unwilling to realise the scale of the problem that is being faced".

He said: "TSB had made good progress in resolving the recent IT issues and that the banks is now functioning at, or close to, normal for the majority of TSB customers".

"We recognise that we still have areas where we need to improve performance for our customers and we do not underestimate these remaining issues".

Richard Meddings, TSB chairman, said Mr Pester had the board's full support. As the FCA have themselves noted in their correspondence to the Committee: "'The FCA has no reason at this time to believe that TSB intentionally made misleading or incorrect statements to the Committee'".

"No opportunity was taken to correct this in subsequent written evidence of 11 May, despite this containing a section entitled "Fraud".

It raised concerns about the "openness and transparency" of Mr Pester's evidence.

The FCA is investigating the bank over its handling of the crisis.

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