TSB Bank calls in IBM to fix IT problems

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's TSB Bank has called in International Business Machines Corp IBM.N to help resolve an IT crisis that has left dozens of customers without access to digital services for almost a week, its CEO said on Thursday.

Chief Executive of the TSB bank, Paul Pester, poses at the bank's Baker Street branch in London September 9, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Disruption scheduled to end on Sunday rolled on until Thursday morning, with customers still reporting issues via social media.

CEO Paul Pester said he would take direct control of the bank’s IT platform to fix the severe problems which stemmed from a planned migration of computer systems onto a new platform over the weekend.

“I will take direct control from 8 o’clock (0700 GMT) this morning for our platform, I’ve drafted in a team of global experts from IBM,” Pester said during an interview on BBC Radio 4.

“They are reporting to me, directly to me and I will take control of the platform until it gets fixed. I am putting things right.”

Pester also said the bank’s customers would not be charged any overdraft fees for the month of April.

“I’m very aware that many customers may have used their overdraft in April more than they would have expected to. There will be no overdraft fees or any overdraft charges for any of our customers through April,” he said.

The bank had been running on an IT system effectively rented from former parent Lloyds Banking Group LLOY.L, costing TSB hundreds of millions of pounds a year since its takeover by Spain's Banco Sabadell in 2015.

TSB on Thursday reported a 2.3 percent rise in first-quarter operating costs to 207.5 million pounds ($289.32 million), primarily due to an increase in these fees.

Profit before tax fell 39.3 percent to 19.3 million pounds, which it said was due to temporary movements in hedging arrangements.

Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Kate Holton and Jason Neely