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Customer Complaints Crescendo as TSB Faces Fresh IT Issues

Bank has hiked interest rates to 5% to keep customers sweet

By CBR Staff Writer

UPDATED 15.20pm – “All fixed!” says TSB. 

UK High Street bank TSB – which is facing the ongoing consequences of a core banking system migration that has left thousands of customers locked out of their accounts – faced a fresh outage today.

The High Street bank has increased the interest rate on its Classic Plus account from 3% to 5% and is waiving overdraft fees and interest charges, as well as any returned item fees incurred during customers’ March and April billing periods in a bid to keep customers on board.

In written evidence to a Treasury committee earlier this month the bank said “the log-in success rate for our mobile app is now 92%. The success rate compares with a pre-migration average of 96%.”

The bank’s social media accounts today, however, are a litany of increasingly irate customers saying they are locked out of their online and mobile banking apps.

TSB is migrating millions of customer accounts from Lloyds Bank systems, which have hosted them since TSB was separated from Lloyds, to a UK version of new Spanish owner Sabadell’s existing core banking system, Proteo. It hopes the move will cut its costs by £160 million per year.

Proteo is based on the Alnova retail core banking system supplied by Accenture, but Sabadell has reworked the system and owns the IP.

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Carlos Abarca, CIO of TSB, earlier told reporters the new system, Proteo4UK is running out of two new data centres in the UK.

“It is customer centric by design… and enables the open banking revolution. Proteo4UK was built in close co-operation with world-class companies, and has very few legacy systems,” he said. “It is a brand new core banking system for us.”

Following widespread issues, TSB has appointed IBM in a Systems Integration role, to help identify and resolve performance issues in the platform, with IBM reporting directly to the bank’s CEO.

In a service update on the bank’s homepage today TSB said: “The Mobile App is available and working. However some customers are seeing a message stating ‘something went wrong’ when trying to log in. Please check you have downloaded the latest version of our app. If the issues continue, try closing the app down and then relaunching it – you may need to do this a couple of time.”

TSB has been contacted for comment.

Speaking about the planned migration as early as 2015, John Harvie, a director of Protiviti, a global consultancy firm, told the FT: “I’ve been in this game a long time and I’m suspicious. There have certainly been some examples of where it has cost significantly more to re-platform an entire bank. It is not overly generous as a budget for that scale of migration.” He says that even architecture developed in 2000 could already have been outpaced by developments in technology.

“It is great [that] Sabadell are so confident this is not going to be a problem, but history tells us these things are difficult and challenging.

Updated 15:20. A TSB spokesman said: “We’re sorry that our mobile app was unavailable for some of our customers earlier today and for the inconvenience this may have caused. Whilst our mobile app was temporarily unavailable for some customers, our internet banking site continued to work as normal and we recommended our customers accessed their accounts there.” 

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