TSB drafts in tech giant IBM to help resolve IT crisis and customers to avoid April overdraft charges

TSB said customers will not be charged overdraft fees for April after the bank's IT problems (Gareth Fuller/PA) Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
  • Video report by ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills

Crisis hit bank TBS has drafted in experts from tech giant IBM to help deal with the IT meltdown affecting many online banking customers.

The team of "global experts" will work with bank chief executive Paul Pester across the UK, as he begins “putting things right” after the bank’s internet service was still only working at around 50% capacity for customers.

Mr Pester has agreed with TSB's parent bank, Sabadell, which had been providing its IT platform, that he will take direct control of the platform.

He also announced that TSB customers will not have to pay overdraft charges in April following the crisis.

The bank boss said what happened was “not good enough”, but refused to say whether he would give up his bonus.

Mr Pester told ITV News: "I have IBM's best experts worldwide, I spoke to the head of IBM's banking devision and he has given me his personal assurances to provide whatever contact we need."

Earlier he said that because of the IT failure many customers have been forced to use their "overdraft in April more than they were expected to."

“They may not have been able to see their account or manage their account, so today we are announcing that there will be no overdraft fees or any overdraft charges for any of our customers through April,” he said.

Mr Pester refused to say whether he would give up his bonus, saying: “It is not my decision. It is a decision of the board.”

On Wednesday, the bank said it was working “round the clock” to fix problems that struck following a major IT upgrade on Sunday night, but said five out of every 10 customers who tried to access its internet banking service were still facing issues.

The bank added that its mobile app was operating at 90% capacity.

TSB had intended to complete a major IT system upgrade on Sunday evening, although problems persisted into a third day.

Delays meant customers were left unable to access their money online, while some reported being able to access other customers’ accounts.

Data and banking watchdogs confirmed they were looking into the situation, while MPs have demanded answers from the bank about the IT meltdown.

Treasury Select Committee chairwoman Nicky Morgan wrote to Mr Pester asking for details of the problems and the bank’s response.