The City regulator has launched a stinging attack on the chief executive of TSB over the bank’s failure to be open and transparent with customers when an IT upgrade went badly wrong, locking as many as 1.9 million customers out of their accounts.
The Financial Conduct Authority accused Paul Pester of “portraying an optimistic view” of services after the botched operation in April that is still causing disruption for customers more than a month on.
“The FCA has been dissatisfied with TSB’s communications with its customers and we have had concerns that TSB was not being open and transparent about the issues experienced,” Andrew Bailey, the FCA’s chief executive, said in a letter to the Commons Treasury committee.
“[T]he current communications were perceived as poor, and could reduce trust in TSB and in the #banking sector as a whole.”
The City regulator’s damning assessment increased the pressure on Pester as he prepared to make a second appearance in front of the Treasury committee on Wednesday.
In a critical assessment of Pester’s personal handling of the IT meltdown, Bailey also suggested that the TSB boss might have been more forthcoming with MPs on the Treasury Committee when he gave evidence on 2 May. Bailey said at the time of the hearing Pester may have had information from tech experts at IBM who had been drafted in to help cope with the meltdown.
“We are … concerned that at the time of the committee hearing, the CEO may have been in possession of an initial set of slides by IBM which provided initial views on the incident, and could therefore have shared more detail on this with the committee.”