Less than a week after Josep Oliu’s, Chairman of Sabadell Bank, deeply offensive teleconference, in which he sought to blame everyone else for the most catastrophic IT meltdown in living memory, Jonathan Hall, Customer Remediation Director, is leaving TSB at the end of September. Members will recall that both Josep Oliu and Richard Meddings, acting Chief Executive, were both critical of the fact that only 40% of the 159,000 complaints received by the bank had been dealt with 5 months after the meltdown began. Mr. Oliu, whose attempt to curry favour with staff by talking about the fact he’d lost a few nights’ sleep following the meltdown backfired, said that the bank’s compensation efforts had “not gone the way I would like”, adding that “regulators also don’t like it”.

Mr. Oliu is attempting to divert blame away from Sabadell and Sabis for the IT meltdown and its after effects. It’s about time Mr. Oliu and his cronies look in the mirror and question their own roles in the lead up to the botched meltdown. Mr Carlos Abaca, who was directly responsible for the migration and appeared in all the videos and conferences telling staff about how brilliant the new system was going to be, has seemingly got away scot free. In fact, Mr Abaca’s deputy, seconded from Sabadell, who was heavily involved in the migration project, has been appointed to run the TSB’s digital division. And guess who previously ran the digital division – Mr Jonathan Hall. It reminds us of Donald Trump’s boast that he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” and not “lose any voters”. Those Sabadell employees who were directly responsible for the biggest IT meltdown in corporate history can not only do no wrong they even get rewarded for their failures.

The consequences of the meltdown are still being felt by staff and customers and that will be discussed in more detail in our next Newsletter: ‘Carry On Banking’. Members with any feedback on the current problems with the system should contact the Union’s Advice Team immediately on 01234 716029 (Choose Option 1) or they can email us at 24hours@tbuonline.co.uk.

Complaint Busters

Staff are being taken out of TSB branches and seconded into roles based in a number of hubs across the country to deal with the backlog of customer complaints. The first one will be at Henry Duncan House, Edinburgh. Last week was the first time the number of complaints dealt with by the Bank was the same as the number of new complaints made by customers. And that’s some six months after the meltdown began. That in itself tells you the scale of the Bank’s problem. Those ‘volunteers’ going to one of the hubs will be put up in hotels, grade B staff will be given ‘deputisation payments’ of 10% or to the minimum of grade C if higher and travel expenses. Staff have been told they could be ‘complaint busting’ until the end of January 2019.

The problem with the Bank’s approach, which on the surface seems like a good idea, is that branches are creaking at the seams already and if hundreds of staff are being taken out branches then those staff that are left are going to be under even more pressure. We are aware that in Glasgow 15 members of staff have been sent across to Edinburgh. The Bank is sorting out one problem but creating another for customers and staff.

What’s happened to the extra staff the Bank recruited, on the very large salaries, to help with customer complaints? A new ‘surge’ team of 100 staff was brought in by TSB to deal with complaints in September but they have been sat around largely doing nothing because only 5% were certified to deal with complaints. Equally, KPMG, a very expensive firm of management consultants, has been paid a fortune to deal with this problem. What are they doing and why are they still being paid? We will be putting these questions and more to the FCA in due course. In the meantime, members with any questions can contact the Union’s Bedford Office on 01234 716029.

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