TSB’s botched IT meltdown has entered its second week and as many as a million customers are still locked out of their accounts. If this disaster continues much into this week, drastic action will need to be taken and those decisions may be taken out of the hands of the current management team. The Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority will be carefully monitoring the work being done by IBM.   

Since the pictures of Banco Sabadell software engineers toasting with champagne a job well done the tales of woe have been truly devastating for customers with many reporting bank cards still being declined, missed bills and mortgage payments and small businesses not being able to pay staff or suppliers. We understand that up to 20,000 customers have lodged complaints so far but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

But frontline TSB staff in branches and call centres have been the true heroes of this disaster. Staff have not only had to struggle with a system that is not functioning properly, and that’s when it actually works, but have been verbally abused and threatened and have shown a level of fortitude many of them never knew they possessed. Staff have been working 12-hour shifts since last weekend (with many staff coming in on their days off to help colleagues), in many cases with no breaks, but nobody at the top of the Bank is acknowledging the scale of the problems they are facing or, more importantly, offering any solutions whatsoever. Staff have gone above and beyond the call of duty for TSB over the last 7 days and that needs to be acknowledged by the Bank.

Quite rightly, the Bank has said it will waive all overdraft fees and interest charges for its retail and small business customers for April. It will also raise the interest paid out on its standard current account to 5% on balances up to £1,500, up from 3%, for existing customers who stick with the TSB. Time will tell whether those inducements are enough for customers.

But what about front line staff? Paul Pester needs to show his appreciation for what staff have been through over the last week and what they are likely to go through over the next few weeks. The Bank should now commit:

  • To giving all frontline staff in TSB branches and call centres a one off payment of £1,000. That can be easily funded by not paying any bonuses to members of the BEC and recovering integration bonuses paid in previous years.
  • To ensuring that all staff working beyond their contracted hours are paid double time.
  • Not seeking to claw back the extra costs it’s incurred as a result of the IT meltdown by making redundancies once the dust as settled. Equally, we would expect the Bank to commit to maintaining the current severance terms and not to try and get rid of staff on the cheap.

We would like to hear from members about their experiences of migration. Members can contact the Union’s Bedford Office on 01234 716029 or email us at 24hours@tbuonline.co.uk.

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