The Anna Karenina Principle, taken from the opening sentence of Leo Tolstoy’s book, says that a deficiency in any one of a number of factors dooms an endeavour to failure. Consequently, the success of a particular endeavour is one where every deficiency has been avoided.

TSB’s BEC will have to decide whether every deficiency has been avoided before it gives the go ahead on 10th April 2018 for the system switchover during the weekend of 20th April to 22nd April 2018. Another migration delay will presumably see TSB heads roll, and Sabadell’s already damaged reputation for introducing new IT platforms on time and to budget will be lost completely. In fact, another delay could result in the FCA questioning TSB’s ability to migrate customers onto the new platform securely.

According to TSB, the recent migration dress rehearsals have gone well and we all hope the switchover goes smoothly and customers experience a seamless service when they move from one system to another. However, some of the feedback we are getting from members is quite worrying and needs to be taken seriously by the Bank including:

  • ATM machines not producing mini-statements and customers pouring into branches to find out what’s going on and requesting printouts. That is putting an increasing strain on many branches at a time when staffing levels are at crisis point.
  • The stability of the new ATM machines is also a cause of concern. Members are reporting far more outages than normal and again this is putting increasing strain on hard-pressed branches. A number of branches have reported that customers are having difficulties navigating the new machines and understanding some of the new instructions.
  • The time branch staff have been given to go through the new workbooks prior to the migration weekend. Many staff have said they haven’t got time to complete the workbooks properly. Some are skimming through them quickly so their Line Managers can report to Area Directors that their staff are migration ready. Some members have said they can’t complete some of the scenarios in the workbooks because the icons on the system are not working properly. Those problems, which have been reported to trainers, need to be fixed quickly.
  • TSB has said that further advances on mortgages are being stopped until after migration. Whilst that may be the right decision for the business, it hasn’t stopped customers coming into branches for appointments only to be told they can’t have that product until after migration. Understandably, customers are complaining and it’s branch staff who are in the firing line.

When completing an exercise of this magnitude, with so many different moving parts all needing to work at the same time, it’s important the Bank gets honest feedback from staff about what’s working and, more importantly, what’s not working. Instead of getting that honest feedback, staff are frightened that if they raise issues regarding the new system, and those issues are not deemed to be wholly positive, that will be used against them. Indeed, some staff who have raised issues have been told they are “not exhibiting the right kind of behaviours” by Line Managers which, unfortunately, is not a surprise. Staff feedback – good, bad or indifferent – should be encouraged because only then can the Bank ensure that customers get the system they need.

If members have concerns about the new system they should contact the Union’s Bedford Office immediately on 01234 716029.

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