Bank overcomes IT fiasco

TSB returns to profit as Crosbie takes up top post

Debbie Crosbie

Debbie Crosbie: takes up new role next week (pic: Terry Murden)


TSB has returned to a profit in the first quarter, helping to put its IT catastrophe behind it as it prepares to welcome its new chief executive.

Almost two million customers suffered difficulties accessing their accounts, leading to the departure of CEO Paul Pester.

New chief executive Debbie Crosbie will join the company next week from Clydesdale Bank and will take over as TSB reports a profit of €7.3 million (£6.3m) in the first three months of the year, compared to a €43.8m loss (£37.8m) in the same period last year.

It saw a 38% increase in mortgage loan volumes and made a ‘positive’ contribution to Spanish parent group Sabadell’s results.

Sabadell said: ‘It is worth noting that 100 per cent of complaints related to TSB’s IT migration have now been resolved. UK customers also consider that customer experience has improved.”

TSB swung to a first ever loss of £105.4m last year after the IT meltdown cost it £330m and caused about 80,000 customers to leave the bank.

Sabadell said Ms Crosbie’s key objective will be ‘to improve TSB’s efficiency and profitability and roll out the new SME business in the United Kingdom’.

Chief financial officer Ralph Coates suggested in an internal memo to staff that the bank would be seeking job cuts, noting that the bank needs to become a “leaner, more efficient bank.

He said: “It’s important we’re competitive or try and get to a better position on our costs and make ourselves fit and safe to compete.”

TSB branches will be open for fewer hours from July this year – with dozens set to open for just two or three days a week. Seven branches will also close in the next six months and 94 will operate on reduced hours.

A TSB spokesperson said: “Customers are changing the way they interact with us, and over the past few years we have seen the usage of branches continue to fall, with many customers increasingly using alternative TSB branches, online, mobile or telephone banking to access TSB banking services.

“These changes mean that we have taken the difficult decision to close some branches that are no longer commercially viable. We are also reducing the opening hours of a further 94 branches to keep them commercially viable.

“Our branch partners are working with our customers to support them as we make these changes and there will be no job losses.”

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