TSB denies boss Paul Pester misled MPs over extent of computer issues

Jasper Jolly
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TSB customers have faced difficulties accessing their accounts and long call waiting times (Source: Getty)

TSB has denied that its chief executive Paul Pester misled MPs over the extent of a crippling computer meltdown at the bank, after reports that he had seen evidence contradicting his statements to a parliamentary committee.

The bank called in IT giants IBM after its migration to new computer systems in April went disastrously wrong, leaving hundreds of thousands of customers without access their bank accounts.

An IBM report on the issues carried out soon after it was called in says that problems were spread through “custom and package applications, middleware services and the network”, according to the Sunday Times.

Read more: Treasury Select Committee says it has 'lost confidence' in TSB boss Pester

Pester told the Treasury Select Committee in May that the problems were in the “middleware”, referring to the software which glues together the core system and the customer-facing applications.

However, the IBM report was given to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) before it was given to the TSB board, the bank said.

A TSB spokesperson said: “The IBM document contained a preliminary work plan with very early hypotheses based on observations to date, that were produced after only three days of engagement with TSB.

“To present this document as a clear view on what went wrong wouldn’t be a fair reflection. Similarly it isn’t a fair reflection of what actions may or may not subsequently have been taken.”

TSB declined to share the report, citing commercial confidentiality.

The FCA’s chief executive, Andrew Bailey criticised Pester last week for giving an overly “rosy” view of the issues during his May committee appearance. The committee’s members last week called for Pester to resign, saying they had “lost confidence” in him.

However, the TSB board backed Pester, while some corporate governance experts, including from the Institute of Directors, criticised the MPs for interfering in a private company’s affairs.

Read more: TSB boss Paul Pester to give up (one) bonus after IT meltdown