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TSB woes

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Senex

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Is anyone caught up in TSB's IT "upgrade" problems? You'd have thought that by now there would have been enough learnt from the IT disasters other banks have had for TSB to have got it right, or at least to have set aside enough time to be able to work through any problems instead of telling everyone they'd be up and running again by Sunday evening after just a weekend shutdown. But not only have they disastrously failed to deliver, and apparently mixed up some customer information, but their Spanish chief executive chose to trumpet their success in a PR release (whilst their British staff duly hid away). Meanwhile, who speaks for the customers? Apparently only Labour MP Nicky Morgan of the Treasury Select Committee, with the official regulators having very little to say for themselves.
 
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nlogax

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Not really caught up in it other than watching from behind half-closed hands as someone working in the IT industry. When a corporate IT project goes horribly wrong like this and gets the attention of Westminster then you know it's likely heads will roll once the major problem has been fixed. It's not pretty and I feel sorry for everyone involved in trying to sort it out.

Similar issues going on with Ulster Bank today, I believe.

(I'm not going to complain if my TSB mortgage balance automagically drops to zero but that sort of luck is pretty unlikely..)
 

thejuggler

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Suggestions are because the notice went out of an upgrade with a time and date for completion thousands of customers tried to log on immediately after it went live.

Whilst there may have been problems with the new system, an outage due to servers crashing doesn't help.
 

Lucan

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And yet (I might be wrong) TSB were the first high street bank to offer internet banking to individuals, mid-1990's I believe. You used a special app (things have gone full circle since) and logged in via Compuserve AFAIR. I opened a TSB account because of it, was told I was the first user in TSB's south west region, which would make me one of the first individuals to use internet banking anywhere in the UK at least.
 

Howardh

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If the reports on twitter are correct; some users logging on to their mobile banking have been getting other people's accounts. If that's right that's just gobsmackingly incompetent and even if it only happened the once, the CEO should be put in front of a judge to explain himself. All the stuff about facebook privacy is nothing compared to giving someone the opportunity to remove all your money.
 

scott118

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TSB said: “Customers can rest assured that no one will be left out of pocket as a result of these service issues.”

So that should mean people will be compensated if, for example, they incur late payments fees because they are not able to make a payment. Keep any receipts/paperwork, and visit a branch or call the bank and explain that you want to reclaim your money.

No?

Where there's blame, there's a claim...
 

Clip

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TSB said: “Customers can rest assured that no one will be left out of pocket as a result of these service issues.”

So that should mean people will be compensated if, for example, they incur late payments fees because they are not able to make a payment. Keep any receipts/paperwork, and visit a branch or call the bank and explain that you want to reclaim your money.

No?

Where there's blame, there's a claim...

yes - the same as has happened when things like this have gone wrong before with other banks and also big employers too
 

najaB

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You'd have thought that by now there would have been enough learnt from the IT disasters other banks have had for TSB to have got it right, or at least to have set aside enough time to be able to work through any problems instead of telling everyone they'd be up and running again by Sunday evening after just a weekend shutdown.
You can have all the contingency plans in the world but sometimes s*** happens. They've probably had dozens of upgrades that have gone so well that you've never known about them.
 

Dai Corner

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And yet (I might be wrong) TSB were the first high street bank to offer internet banking to individuals, mid-1990's I believe. You used a special app (things have gone full circle since) and logged in via Compuserve AFAIR. I opened a TSB account because of it, was told I was the first user in TSB's south west region, which would make me one of the first individuals to use internet banking anywhere in the UK at least.

Off topic (sorry) but Bank of Scotland and the Nottingham Building Society offered online banking on the Prestel platform in 1983. I had an account with them. Pedantically neither this nor Compuserve were Internet banking.

Nationwide Building Society claim to have offered the first Internet banking service in 1997. Though they aren't a actually bank, of course.

https://www.nationwide.co.uk/guides/news/articles/2017/05/internet-bank-anniversary
 

Peter Mugridge

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Just curious... does anyone know if TSB do their IT in-house or if they've contracted it out to a third party, and if so who?
 

Dai Corner

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Just curious... does anyone know if TSB do their IT in-house or if they've contracted it out to a third party, and if so who?

Short answer: It's complicated.

Long answer: The system they migrated from belongs to Lloyds Banking Group (who used to own TSB). The one they're migrating to is an adaptation of TSB's new Spanish owners Sabadell system. It appears be supported in-house by Sabadell
https://www.bankingtech.com/2017/12/tsb-unveils-new-banking-tech-platform-proteo4uk/








News
TSB unveils new banking tech platform, Proteo4UK


The stage is set…

“We have created a more digital, agile and flexible TSB,” stated Paul Pester, CEO of TSB, at the unveiling of the bank’s new technology platform, Proteo4UK.

The core originates from Proteo, the platform of TSB’s Spanish parent, Sabadell. In turn, Proteo’s roots are in the Alnova retail core banking system supplied by Accenture. Sabadell has been developing the system under its own steam for a number of years and owns the IP.

The project to build Proteo4UK has been underway for two and a half years, and some components are already in production, such as the new mobile banking app (launched in March this year) and the platform for mortgage brokers.

Customer migration is yet to come – the bank will be working on this in 2018.

Carlos Abarca, CIO of TSB, says the new system is “customer centric by design” and “enables the open banking revolution”.

“Proteo4UK was built in close co-operation with world-class companies, and has very few legacy systems,” he states. “It is a brand new core banking system for us.”

Proteo4UK is running “in a very active mode” out of two new data centres in the UK. In case of a disaster in one of the centres, all critical services will switch “with no interruption or loss of customer data, transactions or services” to the other one, Abarca explains.

Pester says the new set-up is going to save TSB over £100 million a year. At present, the bank continues to rely on Lloyds (the two were one entity until four years ago) for its core banking software, which is provided on a hosted basis and costs £220 million a year.

“We are liberating TSB by moving to the new platform,” Pester states. In addition to significant cost saving, it enables flexibility in choosing providers and partners, he explains. For example, the bank is moving all of its current account debit cards to Mastercard (farewell, Visa) in 2018 as part of a new seven-year agreement.

There are also plans to move into the SME banking segment, which will be supported by Proteo4UK. TSB is bidding for a share of the £750 million fund set up by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to boost business lending in the UK (the fund replaced RBS’s failed attempt to shed 300 branches and carve out a separate bank under the Williams & Glyn brand). Pester says TSB is aiming to get three grants worth £60 million, £100 million and £20 million.

Abarca highlights the benefit of launching new products and services “at a speed that has not been seen in this country”. The bank was the first in Europe to launch the iris scan technology for its mobile app (the project is on the Banking Technology Awards 2017 shortlist); first in Europe to enable Samsung Pass for login and payment authentication; and among the first in the UK to introduce the facial recognition technology, Face ID, for Apple’s iPhone X users (for login and payment authentication).

“It’s the technology journey that we are on together with our customers,” Abarca says.


TSB Proteo4UK launch

All change

The platform was built with a great deal of input from TSB’s employees – or “partners” (as the bank calls them) – says Helen Rose, the bank’s COO.


All change

The team was careful to minimise the impact on the customer side, she says, e.g. no changes to sort codes, account numbers and so on, but for the “partners” the change was monumental.

All channels systems, all back office and internal systems (e.g. HR, ERP etc) and “every single piece of IT kit in all offices” were replaced, Rose says.

“It was a massive effort – 300,000 hours of partner training, 80,000 tests so far.” The bank has also introduced a new digital workplace solution, with video conferencing and other remote working capabilities, as well as a bring your own device (BYOD) policy. “We want to attract the best talent – and thus we are creating a work environment and culture that enables greater flexibility and productivity,” Rose states.

Going mobile


Humanisation of digital

As mentioned above, TSB launched a brand new mobile app, based on Proteo4UK, in early spring this year. It is hosted on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud.

Genevieve Kangurs from TSB’s digital transformation office says the app boasts “the speed, adaptability and flexibility unheard of before”. New features and enhancements are launched every month, based on customer feedback. “We listen to what our customers want,” she states.

For example, navigation has been simplified further and merchant logos have been added to transactions so a user can easily see where they spent the money.

The year 2018 and beyond will be the “humanisation of digital” for the mobile app: more use of artificial intelligence (AI), money management capabilities, a digital passport as well as other useful features (e.g. advanced transaction view and spending insights).

Thanks to agile methodology, TSB can bring to market new mobile app features in just four to six weeks, Kangurs says. In the previous environment, this took up to six months. “We have a great partnership with Sabadell and the development team in Barcelona,” she notes.

Data centralisation

TSB describes data as “the life blood of banking”. The bank has transformed its data environment to “build a foundation to respond to customer and regulations quicker”.

The previous set-up had a complex architecture, resulting in duplicate technologies, multiple data sources and heavy reliance on end-user computing (EUCs).

The new structure has simple architecture, is centralised and offers single version of truth. For example, change of address – a point of frustration for both customers and employees, as it had to be done multiple times in multiple systems – can now be done just once across all systems.

Teradata’s tech supports data acquisition, IBM Infosphere provides data integration and MicroStrategy enables data exploitation.

TSB has also invested in data quality tools and has created a data catalogue about its data (meta data).

“We can now meaningfully apply and use the data for our processes, customer services and new products,” says Kate Gallego, head of business intelligence at TSB.

Personal opinion: within three different parties involved, one with perhaps less than 100% interest in the success of the project, and potential language difficulties im not altogether surprised it didn't go very well.
 

Senex

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It still isn't up and running — here's what I got half an hour ago. 2018-04-25_07-31-11.png
 

nlogax

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Online services are being throttled to try and keep everything moving for the lucky few that can log in and gawp at their incorrect or missing balances.
 

najaB

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...the lucky few that can log in and gawp at their incorrect or missing balances.
Are their indications that balances are incorrect? That's surprising as if I was in charge of such a large migration I would've taken a snapshot of balances before shutting down the old system and made sure they matched before taking the new system live.
 

nlogax

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Are their indications that balances are incorrect? That's surprising as if I was in charge of such a large migration I would've taken a snapshot of balances before shutting down the old system and made sure they matched before taking the new system live.

This is purely going off the back of tweets and accounts I've read in the Graun and Telegraph today; incorrect balances, zero balances, missing accounts including mortgages (must check mine...), random error messages re. connecting to back-end AWS instances, app crashes, account lockouts..

With transactions happening every second of every hour of every day, even in that small cutover gap there'll be a lot to reconcile back to the new system. Hell of a task and one that would have to be perfectly orchestrated to make sure accounts were correct to the nearest penny.
 

najaB

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With transactions happening every second of every hour of every day, even in that small cutover gap there'll be a lot to reconcile back to the new system. Hell of a task and one that would have to be perfectly orchestrated to make sure accounts were correct to the nearest penny.
Oh, absolutely. And all the more reason to ensure that the starting balances are correct before you start applying queued transactions.
 

Senex

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They're still putting out the message that there is internet banking with restricted access, but I'm still just getting the "Sorry, Internet Banking is currently unavailable" notice. As for the advice to go to a branch, well I went to mine this morning at 9:12 only to find that, having been supposed to be open at 9:00, it wasn't go to be open for "another ten minutes or so". I suppose there is no reason to be surprised. Banks, just like TOCs and all other large companies, actually have no concern for their customers despite what the hordes of people employed in customer relations and public affairs departments put out.
 

nlogax

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Oh, absolutely. And all the more reason to ensure that the starting balances are correct before you start applying queued transactions.

Y'know, I really think there's a YouTube documentary series in all of this. 'Great Corporate IT Disasters'. It'd be good to understand in full technical detail what happened here and in which software component / process things went awry. Thinking back to RBS' huge IT failure in 2012 - El Reg is usually pretty good on the post-incident analysis and I'm sure they'll try the same after this one.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06/25/rbs_natwest_what_went_wrong/
 

Dai Corner

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Y'know, I really think there's a YouTube documentary series in all of this. 'Great Corporate IT Disasters'. It'd be good to understand in full technical detail what happened here and in which software component / process things went awry. Thinking back to RBS' huge IT failure in 2012 - El Reg is usually pretty good on the post-incident analysis and I'm sure they'll try the same after this one.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06/25/rbs_natwest_what_went_wrong/

I was just about to suggest a Channel 5 series "When IT goes wrong". Let's have that for the general public with lots of people in tears / outraged / getting compo and the Youtube series with the technical details for the nerds. I'll include myself in the latter category.
 

Senex

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There's also another series to be done on how these events are handled, not on the technical side but on the customer relations and PR side. From the press reporting and from personal observation there seems to have been a striking lack of openness from management in this case — hiding away at first, and then appearing and talking about a need just for tuning the system, and then claiming a limited service to be available when for many people it simply wasn't — coupled with a lack of adequate facilities to deal with customers. It does more harm than good to recommend people to the telephones if you then can't answer the calls within a reasonable time or at all, to tell them to go to branches, only to find (if the branch has actually opened), that the now-limited number of staff can't access all the necessary information themselves. But what do you do when you've been asking customers for years to move away from face-to-face banking and use the internet, have been successful to the point where some 40% of your customers do use internet banking, and you have therefore closed many branches, cut the number of cashier-positions in those that remain, and made even those staff remaining in the branches very heavily dependent on your IT systems to carry out their customer-facing jobs? When systems fail, as they will from time to time, how should organisations deal with their customers and how do they deal with their customers? There seem to be too many examples across the board of where customers are abandoned for the time being and left to try to sort themselves out, or are just seen as a nuisance impeding the smooth working of the business (the classic syndrome of the librarian's perfect library, with all the books in place on the shelves and not a reader in sight).
 

nlogax

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Add 'wrong currency' to the list of woes.

"Mark, 54 from Birmingham was on hold for three hours after seeing his account was showing in US dollars:

“My account is showing £40k in arrears against my mortgage and the whole account shows in dollars. I can live with all of that but yesterday my son couldn’t eat as I couldn’t transfer funds to his Parent Pay account.

Everybody can have issues but the true measure is how you rectify them. TSB’s contingency has been very poorly thought out and will undoubtedly cost them long-term loyal customers.” "


https://www.theguardian.com/busines...-banking-mobile-app-paul-pester-business-live
 

GaryMcEwan

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I still can't get logged into the website or the app. When I tried to call them I was put in the queue, it rang for 5 minutes then ended the call.
 

Senex

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I still can't get in either, more than 72 hours after service should have been resumed. So much for the lying statement made by Mr Paul Pester at 0340 this morning, presumably just for news media consumption.
 

najaB

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So much for the lying statement made by Mr Paul Pester at 0340 this morning...
Do you know that he lied - i.e. wilfully made a statement that he knew to be false? Because that's quite an accusation to make.
 

Senex

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Do you know that he lied - i.e. wilfully made a statement that he knew to be false? Because that's quite an accusation to make.
Since people were reporting on Twitter and in the Guardian's comments section that they were unable to gain access, it seems a fair deduction that a statement to the effect that everything was working was an inaccurate statement. If you wished to be kind, you might say he had been told by his staff that all was working again when they had failed to do adequate testing and it really wasn't all fine, but under the circumstances would any CEO have been wise simply to accept and repeat any such assurances?
 

najaB

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If you wished to be kind, you might say he had been told by his staff that all was working again when they had failed to do adequate testing and it really wasn't all fine, but under the circumstances would any CEO have been wise simply to accept and repeat any such assurances?
As a CEO he's unlikely to have the skills to ascertain the true status himself so yes, he would have to trust the advice of those who were on his staff.
 

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If the reports on twitter are correct; some users logging on to their mobile banking have been getting other people's accounts. If that's right that's just gobsmackingly incompetent and even if it only happened the once, the CEO should be put in front of a judge to explain himself. All the stuff about facebook privacy is nothing compared to giving someone the opportunity to remove all your money.

I think the ICO (information Commissioners Office) will probably take an interest too. It was one of the topics of interest at an IT Conference I attended today.
 

dgl

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and in addition to some people getting other peoples accounts, some were getting the account numbers and sort codes as well, not good.

A bit of inconvenience is one thing but managing to mess it up so badly is something that shouldn't be allowed to happen. If it's not currently working properly then don't make it live despite the extra inconvenience.

The ICO (as mentioned previously) is going to have a field day with TSB and I can see a rather large fine rightly coming their way.
 
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