TSB Boss Apologises For Online Banking Meltdown

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

IT upgrade chaos as data transfer of millions of customer records, results in customers locked out of their accounts

British bank TSB is facing tough questions over its botched handling of an IT upgrade that involved one of the biggest transfers of banking data ever attempted in the UK.

The problem has come about because TSB had been until this week been renting a banking platform from its former owner (Lloyds Banking Group) whilst it developed its own state-of-the-art platform.

At the weekend, TSB moved its customers’ data from the Lloyds’ platform to its own. But the move has caused no end of problems.

Oops Sorry Fail - Shutterstock - © Gunnar Pippel

Botched upgrade?

TSB had long planned the move this past weekend, and it had promised that systems would be back up and running by 6pm on Sunday.

But unfortunately things have not gone to plan, and many customers who did get access to their online accounts, were presented with details of other people’s accounts too.

Other customers have been unable to log on, others have reported problems with passwords, and some have said that other people’s funds have been transferred into their own bank accounts.

The problems are said to affect both mobile and internet banking customers.

“We’ve been working as hard and fast as we can to get our services back up and running,” a message from CEO Paul Pester said on the TSB website.

“This isn’t the level of service that we pride ourselves on providing, and isn’t what our customers have come to expect from TSB, and for that I’m truly sorry,” said Pester. “We’re still seeing issues with access to our digital services. One of the steps we need to take to resolve this is to take our Mobile App and Internet Banking down for a few hours.”

“We’ll be taking this offline and we hope to be back up later this afternoon,” he said. “We’ll let you know as soon as it’s available again. Of course, customers can rest assured that no one will be left out of pocket as a result of these service issues.”

Money troubles

A TSB customer told the BBC on Monday that he was given access to someone else’s £35,000 savings account, £11,000 Isa, and a business account when he logged onto his account on Sunday night.

It is understood that the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) is already making enquires about the data breach (after some customers allegedly saw others data), and the bank could also face sanction from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The FCA has the power to fine banks for system failures, and the regulator has said it was “aware of the issue” and in touch with TSB.

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