Pester goes – but that isn’t the biggest surprise of the TSB debacle

Paul Pester, CEO of TSB, has finally left the business after the bank’s customers suffered another long weekend of failing processes and systems. That he resigned today “with immediate effect” isn’t the most surprising aspect of the story, even after he grimly clung on for months after the initial failures in April.

BBC report that TSB has lost just 6,000 net customers as a result of April's process and systems failures
From the BBC report on Paul Pester’s resignation

The BBC report that 26,000 TSB customers (out of 4.5 million claimed on their LinkedIn page) closed their accounts as a result of the TSB’s botched project to change their banking systems.

I find it astonishing that nearly 199 in 200 customers chose to stay with the bank. It’s even more astonishing that 20,000 people have actively decided to become customers since April, making a net loss of just 6,000. At this rate TSB will have more customers by the end of 2018 than they had at the beginning.

On this basis, having a high-profile business failure looks like a recipe for success. British financial consumers, no matter how badly they’ve been treated, seem unlikely to change their allegiance. As it happens, it’s also the trait that the government are banking on to push through Brexit.

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Reader Comments

  1. Andrew Morrish

    UK consumers are notoriously inactive – banking, utilities, network providers, etc the list of low churn service providers goes on.

    I do have some empathy for TSB staff in this though – their employer was forced through a disposal action by regulatory pressure on the previous parent organisation (LTSB); then a poorly planned complex change initiative to drive the re-platforming you mention was linked with a provider that does not know the UK marketplace or its wrinkles. Arguably this was a real case of a lack of listening to the shop much as a lack of exploitation of appropriate techniques and planning.

    On Brexit, can I just share my current frustration with all MPs seeking to assume knowledge of why the UK electorate voted as it did or worse proclaiming ‘people did not vote with this (or that) outcome in mind’. The trust is they can’t and don’t know – sounding out local party memberships does not give the answers. Justine Greening yesterday was the latest example in a long line of many.

    Right now I put the leaders of this trait (for example BJ (Boris)), JC (Jeremy) in the same tribe as Harvey (W) and Fred the shred Goodwin. Their arrogance knows no boundary; their presumption of knowledge about what we think and worse still of our unequivocal support for them !! because of those presumptions is breathtaking (in a bad way). It is reaching the point where a purge of the politicians along the lines of what has happened in Entertainment and Banking is looking long overdue – lets hope Frank Field is able to galvanise some principled opposition that eliminates these out of touch ‘nasties’ from influence soon and permanently – bring on the next General Election.

    • tim

      Hi Andrew,

      I agree – many of TSB’s current problems are definitely a case of a lack of listening to the shop floor. On Brexit – I don’t think that many of the “shop floor” care too much either way at the moment, so there aren’t that many speaking out. When/if they do, it will be too late and unlike banks, not many will be able to change country!


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