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TSB appoints new tech transformation chief cuz last tech transformation went really, really well

Mark Curran can't wait to join 'interesting' IT meltdown bank

TSB, the bank that put the "down" into "meltdown", has appointed Mark Curran as director of Technology Transformation.

Curran will be drinking from the poisoned chalice kicking off his exciting new role later in the summer and reporting to TSB CIO Mike Errington.

The bank has been through several transformations over the years, most notably the transformation from respected high street institution to gibbering wreck following a series of high-profile borkages that contributed to CEO Paul Pester being given the boot last September.

Pester was replaced by Debbie Crosbie, to whom Curran's boss reports. Crosbie joined TSB in April this year and, like Curran, is a veteran of Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank. Unlike Curran, Crosbie put in over 20 years of service before stepping into the TSB CEO's shoes

At just under two years, Curran's sojourn as director of Payments and Open Banking at the Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank before joining the embattled finance house was comparatively brief. He spent a little more than eight years prior to that as Payment Services director for the Lloyds Banking Group. Curran left a few years after Lloyds was forced to split off and rebrand a swathe of branches back to TSB following 2008's bailouts.

TSB was sold to Spanish outfit Sabadell in 2015. Sabadell, in an unfortunate turn of phrase, boasted of the "success" of the migration of customer data liberated from Lloyds in April 2018. That success included multiple system failures, a multi-day outage and customers inadvertently accessing other users' data.

Curran has the unenviable task of dealing with how the bank works with Sabis, Sabadell's in-house IT provider, following last year's fiasco. The bank has "started the process of taking control of the contractual relationships with all of its IT suppliers" this year and is looking to "optimise its new banking platform" with nebulous "future technologies".

Last year's disaster saw the bank send in IBM to staunch the relentless flow of bad news. TSB ended up spending £330.2m in "post-migration costs", having spanked £417.3m on preparing for the botched migration.

£122.4m was spent on additional resources and advisory costs to support the remediation of systems and operating defects.

The Terribly Sorry Bank managed another transformation earlier this year, turning 2017's £162.7m profit into a £105.4m statutory loss for 2018, as well as shedding 80,000 customers amid 204,000 complaints.

Curran described himself as "really looking forward to joining TSB at such an interesting time in their evolution".

"Interesting" is one word for it. ®

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