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IT meltdown bank TSB: It's as good a week as any to announce we're taking back control

Firm to prise its platform away from Spanish owner Sabadell

IT meltdown bank TSB is taking control of its technology and banking platform amid speculation about the bank's relationship with Spanish owner Sabadell.

The business has spent the past year trying to fix technical and publicity problems caused by its botched IT migration, which ultimately cost TSB some £330m and CEO Paul Pester his job.

The long-planned migration, in April 2018, aimed to move data on 5 million-plus customers and 1.3 billion records to a new platform created by TSB and Sabadell, called Proteo4UK.

However, it failed spectacularly and systems were down for almost an entire week, with customers suffering intermittent outages and various scams for months after that. Observers have told El Reg that it was clear TSB was "totally desperate" when it hired IBM to help with the problem.

from the great gatsby pic copyright: warner brothers

UK 'meltdown' bank TSB's owner: Our IT migration was a 'success'


TSB has said now said it is moving its focus to "optimising the Proteo4 platform for the future" – and indicated this would edge the platform away from Sabadell's IT partner Sabis.

"A key part of this is having closer control over our technology in TSB, including changing the way we contract and work with Sabis and other technology suppliers," it said in a statement.

"In the coming months, we will take direct ownership of our banking platform, including direct contractual relationships with the third party technology suppliers."

The move comes as Reuters reported that Sabadell's chairman, Josep Oliu, described the UK banks as having a "costly structure" that needed to "be turned around" before it can consider other options, such as a merger or a sale.

The bank said that Mike Errington, who joined TSB three months ago, will become chief information officer and focus on taking full ownership of the platform. He will also be tasked with creating "new technology capability within TSB".

Meanwhile, Carlos Abarca has been named chief technology innovation officer, who will use his "his extensive knowledge of the platform capabilities" to "help position TSB for the future".

His extensive knowledge of the platform would appear to come from his previous roles at TSB and Sabadell, including a three-year stint as TSB's chief information officer and head of migration.

The latter part of that title was conveniently dropped in April 2018, after the migration was completed, in Sabadell's words, "successfully".

The IT changes are part of wider proposals to reinvigorate the bank as Pester's replacement, Debbie Crosbie, is due to start next month.

Reuters reported there will be a reduction in high street branches - so what's new - along with possible voluntary layoffs, early retirements or moving people to new sales roles. ®

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