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Sabadell plays down talk of sale

TSB takes control of IT amid Spanish split speculation


TSB is in a turnaround situation (pic: Terry Murden)


TSB has taken direct control of important parts of its IT infrastructure in a move that could pave the way for its eventual split from its Spanish owner Sabadell.

The bank is still recovering from an IT meltdown last year that cost its chief executive Paul Pester his job and the Sabadell chairman Josep Oliu as stated that it could sell the business after it completes its turnaround.

Mr Pester will be replaced next month by Debbie Crosbie who joins from Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks and is expected to instigate a cost cutting programme.

Mr Oliu said ahead of the bank’s agm: “TSB is a retail bank with a costly structure, it has to be turned around, for that it needs three years, an adequate return (on equity), then it can be a candidate to enter into a consolidation process. A merger or a sale are options.”

However, a TSB source stressed that Mr Oliu was answering a “hypothetical” question, and Sabadell said afterward that TSB was still a “core part” of its plans.

TSB said today: “We’re now at the stage where we need to move our focus to optimising the Proteo4 platform for the future. A key part of this is having closer control over our technology in TSB, including changing the way we contract and work with Sabis [IT provider] and other technology suppliers, while also finding cost effective ways to serve our customers better.

“In the coming months, we will take direct ownership of our banking platform, including direct contractual relationships with the third party technology suppliers.

“At the same time, we also want to build significant new technology capability in TSB in order to allow us to innovate faster. That’s why, today, we are announcing important changes to the way we run technology at TSB.”

The bank has appointed former RBS executive Mike Errington, who has been working at TSB for the past three months, as chief information officer. Carlos Abarca is appointed chief technology innovation officer, helping position TSB for the future.

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