Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

TSB hit by IT failure on first day

TSB's logo will replace the Lloyds black horse emblem as well as the Cheltenham and Gloucester brand at 631 branches (TSB/PA)

TSB has suffered an embarrassing IT failure that left some of its millions of customers unable to access accounts online - just as the bank was being re-launched on the high street for the first-time in 18 years.

Plans for a "seamless" transition were scuppered and a major publicity blitz overshadowed after a glitch meant customers were unable to log on to internet banking at both TSB and parent bank Lloyds. The problems eclipsed a launch event at one of the 631 branches of the new bank in central London hosted by chief executive Paul Pester.

Mr Pester set out to explain how the TSB would be "fundamentally different" from its competitors and a return to "local banking" as he signalled that he was preparing to ditch the culture of sky-high banker bonuses.

He said the new business would steer clear of investment banking, derivatives trading and overseas speculation while seeking a "new approach" to paying executives - though he declined to disclose his own salary.

Meanwhile, current account customers looked set for disappointment as Mr Pester played down the likelihood that TSB would offer an improved rate when it sets out new products next year.

TSB is now Britain's eighth largest high street bank as it begins reappearing across Britain as a standalone brand for the first time since 1995, when it merged with Lloyds.

Lloyds, rescued by the Government in the financial crisis, has revived the name after being forced to ditch 631 branches under European rules on state aid. The branches are all expected to re-open under the TSB brand over the first three days of this week.

However, a pledge by Lloyds chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio that there would be a "seamless transition" for customers was undermined on day one of the transfer by the IT glitches. They followed earlier teething troubles when customers tried to log on over the weekend, and which the bank said has been ironed out.

A spokeswoman said: "We are experiencing an issue with our internet banking service this morning, which has affected the ability of some customers to log on successfully.

"We are working to resolve this as quickly as we can and we apologise to customers for the inconvenience this will have caused. Our branches, telephone banking and cashpoint facilities have not been affected in any way."

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