TSB head steps down following major IT failure

Paul Pester steps down from TSB after the bank's customers were left without access to online banking services


The chief executive of UK bank TSB has announced he will step down following a major IT failure which left customers without access to online banking services for several weeks.

Paul Pester, who had led the bank for seven years, apologized to customers after further disruptions to online services over the weekend. Pester will be replaced by TSB chairman Richard Meddings, who will become executive chairman until the appointment of a new chief executive has been made.

Meddings commented: "Although there is more to do to achieve full stability for customers, the bank's IT systems and services are much improved since the IT migration. Paul and the Board have therefore agreed that this is the right time to appoint a new CEO for TSB. Our goal is therefore to allow a full search to commence, without any distractions, enabling TSB to build for the future.

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"We have three immediate priorities: To complete the work of putting things right for customers; to enable the bank to achieve full functionality – including the availability of all product services and launch of a leading business banking offer; and appointing a CEO for the next chapter of TSB," Meddings added.

In April, the bank's IT systems experienced a major meltdown, followed by further problems in August and more issues which arose over the weekend. In total, the IT crisis has cost the bank £176m ($225.6m) and led to an estimated 26,000 customers closing their accounts.

IBM was brought onboard to help resolved the crisis after the new system, which was built, designed and tested under the auspices of TSB's Spanish owners Sabadell, was introduced. IBM subsequently revealed in a report that the system had not been sufficiently tested prior to its introduction. 

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