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27 Jul 2018

TSB to pay out £115.8m to customers hit by IT crisis: what you need to know

Interim results reveal 26,000 have ditched the bank

Three months after TSB's catastrophic IT meltdown, the bank has announced the full cost of the disaster and the amount of compensation pledged to customers in its interim results for the six months to 30 June 2018.

The bank has set aside £115.8m for redress and fraud losses experienced by customers in the height of the chaos. It expects the total bill for the IT meltdown or 'post-migration costs' to be a whopping £176.4m.

Which? takes a closer look at the interim results and how the bank plans to make good for its customers.

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TSB chaos: what happened?

In April TSB moved its five million customers and their 1.3bn records from an old Lloyds Banking Group platform to a brand new system with its new owner Sabadell.

But the planned migration - initially hailed as a success - saw up to 1.9 million customers unable to access their accounts online or through the mobile app after the system was meant to be back up at 6pm on Sunday 22 April.

TSB's efforts to sort out the mess in the following days were unsuccessful, and a week into the crisis the bank drafted in systems integration specialist IBM to help identify and resolve the performance issues.

TSB's half-year results

Today's half-year report reveals the toll the IT disaster has had on the bank.

TSB's financial performance in the first half of the year was significantly impacted by the IT glitch and the bank revealed pre-tax loss of £107.4m compared with a profit of £108.3m during the same period last year.

The dismal results are down to the bank taking a £176.4m hit linked to its IT migration failure. Of this bill, £29.9m relates to loss of 'foregone income' after waiving fees and charges for customers, £30.7m is for the cost of trying to fix the problems in the system and £115.8m is what the bank plans to pay out in customer compensation and fraud losses.

Are TSB's IT issues fixed now?

Three months on from the crisis, TSB is still experiencing a long list of problems and service still hasn't been restored to normal levels.

According to TSB's own website, some of the problems that persist include customers still unable to see all their accounts online, problems generating statements, TSB mortgage payments not going through, the wrong fee being charged for accounts, text alerts wrongly sent out and its Save the Pennies service taking money from accounts even when overdrawn.

But the bank says the list is designed to keep customers up to date and service levels have much improved, particularly across its mobile app and online banking.

The bank has taken steps to improve its overloaded telephone and branch customer service, saying it has recruited more than 1,800 people and reassigned a further 700 into customer-facing roles.

TSB CEO, Paul Pester, said:'We're making progress in resolving the service problems customers experienced following our IT migration, and we will continue to work tirelessly until we have put things right.

'I know how frustrated many customers have been by what's happened. It was not acceptable, and was not the level of service that we pride ourselves on - nor was it what our customers have come to expect from TSB.'

What is TSB doing to compensate customers?

TSB reiterated today that no TSB customer will be left out of pocket as a result of these IT issues.

Current account overdraft fees, interest charges and any returned item fees were waived for the March, April and May billing periods - costing the bank £29.9m.

The bank also raised the rate on its Classic Plus account from 3% to 5%, and promised to keep it in place for longer than a year.

TSB is also offering to pay the difference in interest charges for mortgage customers that are unable to move onto a new deal because its product transfer services are down.

Alternatively, it will waive the early repayment charges for existing mortgage customers that wish to move to another lender, as it still can't confirm when its service will be back to normal.

The IT issues mean customers have not been able to get a new mortgage with the bank for more than three months. So, existing customers that don't want to wait for the issues to be resolved can move to another lender without incurring any fees.

How to make a complaint to TSB

TSB has received 135,403 complaints since migration, but the bank says no customer complaint will go unanswered.

To ensure complaints are dealt with and customers are compensated properly and as quickly as possible, TSB has formed a dedicated team with more than 260 people.

You can make a complaint using the online form and TSB will acknowledge this within a week and should aim to respond within eight weeks - or 15 days for payment-related complaints.

TSB says all of the customers who have complained so far have been contacted, and 37% of complaints have been resolved, so it's got a long way to go to clear the backlog. It says it's trying to combine speed with the need to ensure each complaint is resolved properly.

If TSB doesn't deal with your complaint in a satisfactory way you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

What is TSB doing about scams?

In June, TSB bosses revealed it had received over 10,600 alerts to incidents of fraud since the migration and 1,300 customers had had money stolen from their accounts.

Which? has heard from customers that lost life-changing sums of money in the confusion caused by the IT disaster, including Pat, who had £10,000 emptied from her account and was left on hold for hours trying to inform the bank about her loss.

The bank's chairman Richard Meddings told MPs at a grilling by the Treasury Committee that customers caught out by phishing scams would be able to get their money back.

Today's report factors these costs in along with the compensation bill at £115.6m.

Read more: TSB customers targeted by scams - how to keep safe

How many customers have left TSB?

TSB was the third most-switched to provider in 2017, but droves of customers have ditched the bank in the second quarter of 2018, when the IT chaos hit.

Between April and June more than 20,000 customers opened a new bank account or switched their account to TSB, but around 26,000 customers switched their bank account away.

Total customer deposits fell by 3.1% to £29.6bn compared with the end of December and fell by 1.2% year on year.

Find out more:How to switch your bank account

What lies ahead for TSB?

Despite the poor results, TSB says it remains on the most strongly funded banks in the UK, and while its migration caused chaos, it believes the new system will benefit customers in the long run.

Mr Pester added: 'Our priority in the second half of the year continues to be putting things right for our customers.

'Looking further ahead, we are determined to get back to bringing more competition to UK banking and ultimately making banking better for consumers and small businesses.