back to article Who will fix our Internal Banking Mess? TSB hires IBM amid online banking woes

In the midst of its six-day online banking meltdown, which is showing no sign of letting up, TSB has hauled in the systems integration big gun or as it is otherwise known, IBM. The British bank confirmed the signing of Big Blue this morning as part of its rather uncomfortably timed first quarter financial results for 2018, in …

  1. HmmmYes Silver badge

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooks%27s_law

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      And the irony is that the book reflected his time at IBM when IBM was a force to be reckoned with.

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Transferred

      Internal

      Technical

      Support

      to

      Underpaid

      Peasants

      ?

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "We're putting things right"

    After putting them wrong.

    1. Chris Tierney

      This CIO job was posted 13 hours ago

      https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/633114556/

      I guess Carlos Abarca is looking for someone a bit more local.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But what about Damon?

        The incumbent...

        https://www.linkedin.com/in/damon-yates-1421b43/

        1. handleoclast Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: But what about Damon?

          This.

          Oh, you said Damon. I thought you said Damian.

          Mind you, TSB are probably wondering if they can apply it to Damon.

        2. Boring Bob

          Re: But what about Damon?

          https://www.linkedin.com/in/damon-yates-1421b43/

          Am I correct in understanding that TSB hired someone with only one year of project management experience as their head of IT infrastructure?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: But what about Damon?

            He has far more than that from memory of him working for Auntie

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I knew the plan was missing something."

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Hello, we're TSB, and we're different from other banks.

        Other banks have working IT systems

        1. Kane Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Hello, we're TSB, and we're different from other banks.

          Other banks have are working IT systems

          There, fixed that for you!

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Out of the Paella pan

    and into the IBM fire perhaps?

    I know one thing and that it I would not be wanting to put TSB on my CV with current dates at the moment.

    1. HmmmYes Silver badge

      Re: Out of the Paella pan

      Out of the Paella and into the curry pot.

    2. Tydfil

      Re: Out of the Paella pan

      IBM to the rescue!!!!! ...... now there's an 'oxymoron'. What with no more TSS for support, IBM could fix it on site with some highly skilled project staff and developers. But they won't be around to support it afterwards - and that is something IBM will want from all of this once fixed, and sufficient time has passed for TSB to draw breath.

  4. HmmmYes Silver badge

    'But the damage has been done – vast numbers of Twitter users and numerous Reg readers have been reporting plans to switch banks (as soon as they can access their money again).'

    Surely thats:

    'But the damage has been done – vast numbers of Twitter users and numerous Reg readers have been reporting plans to switch banks (*IF* they can access their money again).'

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      'But the damage has been done – vast numbers of Twitter users and numerous Reg readers have been reporting plans to switch banks (as soon as they can access their money again).'

      Why wait?

      I signed up for a new account a couple of years ago. One of the questions they ask in the setup process was "would you like us to get your old account with the other bank closed down and the balance transferred to your new account with us?"

      It turns out that most banks these days have teams that are dedicated to doing transitions between banks. In this situation, personally i'd be availing myself of their services so they can deal with the hassle.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        TSB's switchover team use the same back office systems as branch personnel and will probably be inundated. It's nothing that you can't do yourself by going into a branch and making them transfer the money or getting the money out yourself.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Yeah, but why bother with that hassle when your new bank is falling over itself to help you ?

          Especially since it will be the last time that bank will fall over itself to do anything for you.

        2. Ktsecful

          So instead of filling in a simple form (and with many banks being paid to switch using the current account switching service), you'd rather:

          Go in to a bank, withdraw all of your cash, close your account

          Go to a new bank, open an account, pay your money in

          Contact all businesses you have outstanding DDs with, and set up new ones.

          Recreate all of your payees on your new banks online banking

          Set up any standing orders again.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Yes, I would rather do that. I don't know if you've noticed but TSB's IT currently resembles a smoking crater and they've got no more chance transferring your money out of your account than you have getting the money or a bankers draft at a branch, plus by now TSB will have a huge backlog to work through.

            DDs, SOs, and payees can be done online after getting the money in the new account, given an evening and a cup of tea.

            1. whatsyourShtoile

              You expect me to spend an evening doing paperwork for tea?

              Out of the question.

              1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
                Pint

                I'd much prefer at least 1 beer and maybe a whiskey chaser.... or 3 before attempting to move mine...

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Near miss

                  Been using the switching service from TSB -> HSBC over the last couple of weeks. Switch date was Fri 20th so, yeah, dodged a bullet there.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              i wouldn't be doing ANYTHING at the moment that's going to complicate matters! So moving banks I'd be waiting for the dust to settle!

              What could possibly go wrong

            3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              TSB's switchover team use the same back office systems as branch personnel and will probably be inundated.

              So if you do it you get nowhere.

              If another giant bank gets no response to a milllion transfer requests it phones up the banking regulator and suggests TSB get fined a few million/day until they comply.

              I don't think - we would love to abide by the rules for the time it takes to transfer a customer to a competitor, but the computer is acting up - works as an excuse

          2. Aodhhan Bronze badge

            Yes, I'd rather do all of this. It's known as:

            - Responsibility

            - Being forward thinking

            - Someone who isn't going to support poor business practices

            - Taking care of my financial future and my family

            - Oh, and this will strike at the heart of many snowflakes... NOT BEING LAZY.

            Taking several hours out of my life to deal with switching banks will likely save me many days of headaches and late payment fees in the future.

            Anyone who isn't willing to do this, only perpetuates poor business practices. Someday, this is likely going to bite you in the backside.

            Finally... when all this is over, TSB is going to look for ways to cut costs to cover the large expense this muck-up is costing them. It doesn't take a world class seer to figure out how the effects will eventually fall back onto the customer.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "It's nothing that you can't do yourself by going into a branch"

          A bank branch? What's that?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Current Account Switching Service

        I don't understand why the Current Account Switching Service which the UK Government exhorted the banks to implement was made literally only that, a switching service, and one which closes down your old bank account once the transfer has been fully completed.

        Certainly, being able to transfer things such as salary payments in, and standing orders and direct debits out, from the old account to the new account as smoothly as possible is very welcome, but I think that all of the problems that various banks have had, coupled with the risk of card theft, all go to show the importance of having at least two current accounts (with completely separate banking groups) at all times, so that you always have a backup available ...even if one of the banks doesn't!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Current Account Switching Service

          > I don't understand why the Current Account Switching Service which the UK Government exhorted the banks to implement ...

          Sounds like an absolutely fantastic Social Engineering opportunity.

          "Hi this is <foo> calling from <some bank>. Just calling to switch another client over. Name: [ie: Jeremy Clarkson], Details: [found on social media]. Target bank sort code: [..]. Target bank account: [...]."

          Wonder how employees from each bank are supposed to auth to employees from different banks, who they probably don't always know? Hopefully it's not something stupidly easy to fake.

  5. djstardust Silver badge

    A disaster

    As a TSB customer of 33 years (It was Aberdeen Savings Bank when I signed up) I have finally decided to move on. Shame really as the local branch have good long term staff .... but the real issues are higher up the chain.

    This is yet another example of outsourcing not delivering (Accenture) and another company using outsourced IT support rather than a professional, committed in-house team.

    Good luck hiring IBM, because most of their decent people either got the Ruud Gullit or moved on somewhere else.

    I have a real issue with outsourcing, especially when seing what's recently happened with Carillion and Crapita, and any company who I find willingly using it to save a quick buck (in the short term of course) will be losing my business.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: A disaster

      "Shame really as the local branch have good long term staff"

      It was one of the staff of a local branch when it was part of Lloyds that prompted me to leave Lloyds although the damage had been done when Lloyds closed my preferred local branch. Just as well I did - maybe I'd have been transferred over to TSB when they split.

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: A disaster

      This is yet another example of outsourcing not delivering

      It never does. It never does.

      It might look like it does if you're a bean counter and you spaff costs into different pots for shits & giggles, but in the real world, it never does.

      1. James Anderson

        Re: A disaster

        Except read the smallprint.

        Accenture provided the basic Alnova software package.

        Which was customised installed and managed by in house personnell.

        Not that I have ever seen outsourcing work well for anyone -- bit its not to blame in this case.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A disaster

          "Accenture provided the ..." <- Most likely culprit.

          1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: A disaster

            @AC

            "Accenture provided the ..." <- Most likely culprit.

            Wash your mouth out with soap and water,

            Say 3 Hail Marys (or equivalent in your following),

            Then have a Beer!

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: A disaster

          Sabadell bought the system off Accenture, but Accenture is involved in this migration as well as in-house staff. I guess Accenture sold that snake oil by claiming they still had the expertise but anyone who saw that system more than a decade ago has either left or is doing something else by now.

          So what happened is Accenture got paid money to get rid of a piece of crap and still raking in the consultancy fees now for a failed migration.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A disaster

            Accenture == NSFW.

  6. PipV
    Coat

    Totally Shambolic Bank recruits International Billing Machine

    What could possible go wrong?

    Mines the one with the missing Beans in the pockets

  7. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Stop

    promising that no one would be "left out of pocket".

    but to what extent ?

    When HSBC went titsup there were tales of house purchases which failed (HTF can you recompense that ????) plus business contracts which failed, and (presumably) bargains via eBay etc which were gone - forever.

    Admittedly there haven't been any stories from that fuckup about custmers being left out of pocket. But I remain deeply cynical.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not a customer

    sounds like a complex undertaking done for good reasons. Customers should just be patient and not get agitated.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: not a customer

      "sounds like a complex undertaking done for good reasons. Customers should just be patient and not get agitated."

      Sure, they're doing it for the right reasons, but it seems to have been a monumental cockup.

      Nationwide did the same thing a few years back with a much higher level of success. I wonder how much outsourcing, offshoring and asset stripping they've had over the same period compared to the for profit big boys?

      If you couldn't get access to your money, pay bills, etc, you'd quite rightly be "agitated". Not even the branch staff can help as their system is completely fluffed too (the BBC report quotes a manager, who says their system even helpfully has all the error messages in Spanish!)

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: not a customer

        The error message I mostly get is java.lang.NullPointerException

    2. gv

      Re: not a customer

      On the contrary, customers should get very agitated. This is a core banking platform migration, so there should have been extensive contingency planning, testing and a fallback system in place.

      "to help identify and resolve performance issues in the platform"

      A good rule of thumb is to do this BEFORE going live.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: not a customer

      sounds like a complex undertaking done badly for good reasons.

      FTFY

      I'm not a customer either - I escaped that fate. If I were I'd certainly be agitated.

      There's an old saying, "if you fail to plan you plan to fail". What does the present situation tell you about their plans?

    4. colinb

      Re: not a customer

      They are not a ffing corner shop.

      If a Bank can't be trusted to handle your money responsibly it can cause things like bank runs. Bank runs can be contagious.

      RBS was fined £56 million for a botched IT upgrade, so no the regulator doesn't like to chill either when avoidable crap happens.

      1. scrubber

        The Great Northern (Rock) Run

        Bank runs are only an issue because we don't realise that when we deposit money we are implicitly allowing the banks to lend it back out again to other people. Plus fractional reserve banking, but that's a religious war I don't need to get into right now.

    5. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: not a customer

      Hmm, a banker?

    6. defiler Silver badge

      Re: not a customer

      Customers should just be patient and not get agitated.

      Day 1, I agree completely. Day 6, we're running headlong into the end of the month.

      Missed direct debits is one thing (I'll have a few between now and Monday, and I'd be miffed if they failed), but the bank can generally explain the problem to the recipient, handle the penalties etc. But what if I (not banking with TSB) were unable to get paid by my employer (hypothetically banking with TSB), and I am the one stung with penalties? Will TSB reimburse me?

      Yes, it's a complex task. It's a huge task. And it needs huge planning, and regular checkpoints with back-out plans already in place. It seems that somebody skimped on the planning, and they committed to a course of action that didn't have a back-out plan ready to go.

      I'm not saying I'm perfect. I've committed to system changes without a fast back-out that ended up biting me before, but we had a workaround already on the back burner before it happened, and were able to keep users running on that for the couple of weeks it took the devs to sort the latency issues with us. But this is beyond amateur hour. It's a bank. Not a small bank. They claim to have over 5 million customers. That means that a small disruption is a big issue.

      1. Thoguht Silver badge

        Re: not a customer

        I'm a TSB customer and as far as I can see, my direct debits and standing orders have worked just fine since Monday morning.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: not a customer

          I was a customer of TSB for many years/decades.

          Then after the merger I became a customer of LloydsTSB.

          Then when TSB was sold off I emerged as an involuntary customer of Lloyds.

          Dodged a bullet.

        2. d3vy Silver badge

          Re: not a customer

          "I'm a TSB customer and as far as I can see, my direct debits and standing orders have worked just fine since Monday morning."

          They have been "Core services" were up and running at the weekend... but no one can access their accounts.

          I have a few accounts with TSB one which I use day to day and one for the bills. At the end of every month I work out the next months outgoings and transfer them into the bill account which I then dont touch - this means that no matter what happens during the month the bills are all covered.

          The problem now is that as its the end of the month that bill account is empty, I cant put any money in it because the account with the money in is a TSB business account (and the internet banking for the business accounts is in a worse state than the normal accounts).

          So shortly my mortgage and a host of other payments will come out of my bill account - this will do one of two things (Maybe both)

          1. Put me WELL over my overdraft

          2. DD will get declined and go unpaid.

    7. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: not a customer

      "sounds like a complex undertaking done for good reasons."

      Well, You're right to an extent.

      It IS a complex problem and they do need to do it.

      "Customers should just be patient and not get agitated."

      I wasn't agitated until at 7pm on Sunday (AFTER the switch over was meant to be complete) when my debit card stopped working (Its still not working now).

      ATMs also seem sporadic - Though to be fair I've only tried once.

      I can tell you now that 6 days on I am more than agitated I have two personal accounts one which is used just for bills and by this time of the month will be empty. The other has money in it but I cant get to it.

      I also have three business accounts which I cant get to to pay wages out.. or check that Ive been paid by clients..

      So my only option now is to go into a branch and HOPE that they can transfer the funds for me - from what I have read online this is a bit hit or miss at the moment.

    8. Twanky

      Re: not a customer

      "sounds like a complex undertaking done for good reasons. Customers should just be patient and not get agitated."

      Don't feed the trolls :)

  9. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I pity the poor schmoes working on this.

    Now not only do they have a badly planned, poorly managed cut over to repair they are also going to have a bunch of senior muppets from IBM looking over their shoulder second guessing them with the benefit of hindsight.

    I bet somewhere in the depths of TSB's tech dept there are a number of people muttering "told ya so" under their breath who were ignored when they raised issues.

    I don't see what value IBM can add at this point other than making things worse. I get a very strong whiff of "something must be done"

    1. HmmmYes Silver badge

      Re: I pity the poor schmoes working on this.

      'I bet somewhere in the depths of TSB's tech dept '

      I doubt it,

      Itll just be empty desk, where the people who did work there worked, before being let go.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I pity the poor schmoes working on this.

        Nah they will make them fix the problem first then let them go. Even if the problem was caused by management ignoring advice from techies, it'll still be the techies fault ... somehow.

        1. Vincent Ballard

          Re: I pity the poor schmoes working on this.

          Anonymous Coward is spot on. A former colleague of mine is caught up in the middle of this, having joined Sabadell recently in a QA role, and reports that people are pulling seriously illegal amounts of overtime and staying awake with the aid of pills and Bolivian marching powder.

        2. HelpfulJohn

          Re: I pity the poor schmoes working on this.

          "Even if the problem was caused by management ignoring advice from techies, it'll still be the techies fault ... somehow."

          Space Shuttle. O-rings.

          You'd think those who don't know how things work would have seen that one as a Really Big Wake-Up and would now be paying attention to those who do Know Things.

          Or am I expecting too much from Admin and Management Plonks?

  10. BoldMan

    What are IBM going to do? Wave a fucking magic wand?

    So how do they expect a bunch of outsiders to come along and fix everything when their own internal people who built the fucking thing can't get it working quickly?

    Bringing in outsiders always looks good to the mouth-breathing morons up the org chart, but doesn't fix the problem just means that the people who are supposed to be fixing the problems spend pointless time explaining things to the newbies.

    This Peter Pester twat sounds like a complete waste of space.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: What are IBM going to do? Wave a fucking magic wand?

      "This Peter Pester twat sounds like a complete waste of space."

      Sounds like the Peter principle at work.

      1. Byz

        Re: What are IBM going to do? Wave a fucking magic wand?

        Except his name is Paul David Pestor.

        Not Peter !!!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What are IBM going to do? Wave a fucking magic wand?

          There are a lot of people in this thread who are jumping to some remarkable conclusions.

          A couple of disclaimers - I have no inside info here, and I once worked for IBM (left a few years back).

          Everyone here's pointing the finger at TSB and their new owners here but the reality is most likely that this is all a great example of the evils of lock-in, which can be entirely attributed to Lloyds. There is a lot of IBM presence in that bank and they are very dependent on overpaid contractors to keep it running, along with oodles of offshore bollocks.

          My guess (and it is admittedly a guess, although I hope an educated one), is that TSB are trying to change as little as possible, so are splitting out IBM systems, or at least duplicating them, and someone somewhere has not done the numbers, or more likely (in my vast experience) has been told those numbers (performance metrics, technical necessity etc.) do not match the other numbers (£££) and some serious corners have been cut. I hope the relevant technical people kept their emails on the subject.

          IBM being brought in now is unlikely to be a free market choice; IBM are most likely the best people to fix it because it's IBM technology that's involved. If it's an architectural issue or a sizing issue, as is most likely, and this was not IBM's fault, then IBM aren't going to fix it without getting paid. Support doesn't cover that. The fact that TSB have little choice other than calling IBM is entirely down to lock-in. Of course, they may have had the option to move off IBM here, but probably decided to change as few things as possible to improve chances of success.

          I'll reiterate that this is conjecture on my part, but I have a lot of experience here - being sent halfway round the world to fix customer issues. Of course, I no longer work there (took a package) but there are still people who can probably fix this. It won't be quick though and I can guarantee that the people who do fix it will get zero credit. Which is one of many reasons I no longer work there.

          I am hoping the details do get leaked, but I for one am not pinning this entirely on TSB.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: What are IBM going to do? Wave a fucking magic wand?

            "I am hoping the details do get leaked, but I for one am not pinning this entirely on TSB."

            What has to be pinned on TSB is that they took stock of the situation and decided they were in a position to go ahead in a single operation. And then found they weren't.

          2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: What are IBM going to do? Wave a fucking magic wand?

            It's a bit of an EU cock-up in my book too. RBS have apparently wasted spent a couple of billion trying to sell several hundred branches to comply with competition rules - but nobody in the end wanted to buy them. So they're now spending billions more trying to spin them off as Williams and Glyn. That means setting up a head office, management, IT, and a cash pile/reserves.

            This TSB thing is a similar exercise in regulatory box-ticking. That's doing nobody much good. How much have we really gained as customers attracting another Spanish bank into the retail market, as a minor player with just a few hundred branches?

            We had state aid and shotgun mergers during the financial crisis and that broke competition rules. But they really should have ignored them. At least until a later date. There's a reason that when banks buy other banks they tend to leave them on the old systems for years, and only slowly transition across (if ever).

            Rules are important, but given this was a once-in-a-century level of global banking crisis, I think a bit of pragmatism would have served better. Worrying about moral hazard was what caused the US to let Lehman Brothers collapse and the Bank of England stuff Northern Rock. Nothing good came of those 2 decisions. Similarly the rigidiy in stopping Italy from trying to solve its banking crisis has stored up potentially horrible trouble for later.

            Presumably the main blame still goes to TSB and Sabadell management for doing the migration on the cheap or too fast.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What are IBM going to do? Wave a fucking magic wand?

            > IBM are most likely the best people to fix it because it's IBM technology that's involved.

            Just because IBM made something doesn't mean they're competent with it past the sales point.

            Remember the many waves of outsourcing support, and deliberately removing their more experienced technical staff? (still ongoing)

            Bringing in IBM is unlikely to achieve an meaningful win, apart from giving the CEO someone else to blame.

          4. Vincent Ballard

            Re: What are IBM going to do? Wave a fucking magic wand?

            My inside information from a former colleague is that Sabadell tried to port their existing code for their Spanish bank, which was cowboy quality. Hard-coded values including IP addresses for servers and telephone area code prefixes. Copyright-violating ripoff of a Netflix library from GitHub where the copyright header was changed but not the references to Netflix in error messages. Compounded by the insistence of the suits that 500 simultaneous users was a sufficient load test.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What are IBM going to do? Wave a fucking magic wand?

              Please do stop.

              ROFLMFAO

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What are IBM going to do? Wave a fucking magic wand?

              "port their existing code for their Spanish bank"

              That would seem to be confirmed by the BBC report of one TSB branch manager's bad week - they said that the branch systems have been spitting out Spanish-language error messages when things inevitably fail or time out

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: What are IBM going to do? Wave a fucking magic wand?

      No, IBM are there to save Pester's CV when he inevitably gets the boot.

      IBM save the day? "I took that decision. Me! Me! Me!"

      IBM don't save the day? "Not even IBM could fix that screw-up of a system that Sabadell made me use."

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What are IBM going to do? Wave a fucking magic wand?

      No, the CEO has lost faith in IT who say they will fix it ASAP. He now realises they dont know what they are doing so is now desperate so bringing in someone who can give him the truth.

    4. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: What are IBM going to do? Wave a fucking magic wand?

      " just means that the people who are supposed to be fixing the problems spend pointless time explaining things to the newbies."

      That in itself might be a useful excercise. It's even got a name. Rubber duck debugging.

      Sounds stupid but it works.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder...

    This does sound a lot like that ding dong at that Belgian bank a couple of weeks ago.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: I wonder...

      Was that the one where Leslie Phillips tried to seduce the manager's wife in order to get the key to the vault?

      Oh, I say! Ding... Dong...

  12. Steve Graham
    IT Angle

    I was once manager of a team which was migrating more than 25 million customers to a new infrastructure overnight. I was so confident that we had covered all contingencies, including total roll-back, that I went home and went to bed.

    It went perfectly.

    It wasn't easy, and it wasn't cheap, but failure is always avoidable.

    1. Chris Tierney

      Excellent attitude. Demonstrates absolute trust in your team and for that they'll likely work harder for you to make sure it all works.

      1. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

        Seriously?

        If I was up all night on a stressful cut over migration of 25 million accounts while my manager skipped off home to bed it would be anything BUT an "excellent attitude".

        There is trust in the team (do not micromanage) but it's nice to know the general is beside you when the troops are at the front line.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "it's nice to know the general is beside you when the troops are at the front line."

          Even if he's only refilling the kettle and cutting the sandwiches. In fact especially if that's all he's doing.

  13. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Oh, the irony

    Wasn't the whole reason for splitting TSB from Lloyds to avoid the situation of having banks that were too big to fail?

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Oh, the irony

      TSB is small enough to fail.

  14. tip pc
    Facepalm

    1 way migration

    Looks like this was a last minute 1 way migration with extremely poor testing and over site.

    T minus 7 days: heads we do the change tails we don’t.

    T minus 5 days: any plans this weekend, weathers meant to be good. what about this change? The change that’s always delayed? Apparently the ceo is adamant this time!! I’ll beleive it when I see it.

    T minus 4 days: notify the customers it’s happening, cancel your weekend plans!!

    T minus 2 days: we’re down 10 senior tech lead heads for this weekend, 1’s getting married, another 2 on maternity, 5 on leave and the other 2 are “busy”. Everyone is saying they are not ready but the pm’s think the remainder can get the job done.

    The rest is history.

    I couldn’t imagine doing something like this in 1 go over 1 weekend without a credible blackout plan.

    You’d pause all internal transactions and record all externals, do your migration, test the hell out of it, then roll it back and replay transactions And unpause stuff, then during the following week analyse the tests to check for problems, repeat until all the kinks are ironed out then roll out to a small number of customers per weekend, looking and checking for issues including fraud.

    All a very simplistic high level glossing over huge amounts of detail but my fag packet looks a lot more detailed than their packet of Rizla with roaches torn off.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I didn't trust Lloyds after they screwed over a family member

    I don't trust Lloyds TSB and I see no reason to trust TSB

  16. HmmmYes Silver badge

    This seems to be evolving - or going to shit.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43904267

    'TSB chaos: 'We are on our knees,' says boss'

    A few days ago they are getting their bonuses for a completing the work.

    Yesterday it was just a couple of niggles affecting a handful.

    Today, Godzilla is running rampant thru the server room.

    1. Julian 8

      Now IBM have joined in, it has gone pete tong

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I was thinking that what's s the betting some of the trouble is being a Spanish bank bits of the software will be in Spanish, adding to the levels of bullshit. then I read this

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43892840#

      "He reported that branch staff were trying to cope with a completely new system after the botched migration but "nothing is working".

      "My concern is we have customer bills to pay such as credit cards, but we physically cannot process them, as the system either freezes or completely crashes, like it did yesterday for the whole afternoon."

      He said that staff had been assured for more than a year how amazing the system would be, but "it's an absolute joke. Most of the error messages are in Spanish, which is great if you can speak Spanish!"

      1. steviebuk Silver badge

        Also concerning is "Staff were trying to cope with a completely new system". TSB have never heard of training then.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Adam 52 Silver badge

          There's a difference between being able to operate a new system day-to-day, which you may have been trained for, and being able to work around a system you've been using for years and know all the back routes in.

          We have a mission critical but old, command line system at work. It's massively reliable (a few minutes downtime in three decades), fast and really efficient for those trained in it but management can't cope without drop-down menus so is being replaced with a much less reliable, much less capable Windows app. Thank's for nothing Steria.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Es asombroso y roto!

  17. HmmmYes Silver badge

    I like this:

    'Mr Pester, said he would take direct control of the issue, and had drafted in experts from IBM, who would report "directly" to him.'

    Err, Mr Pester, you are the at the root of the problem.

  18. J J Carter Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Cash cow!

    I hope the time-served IT staff who were made redundant in favor of 'Steve' in Mumbai won't lift a finger to help for less than £1,000/day

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Cash cow!

      They can name their price but the trap is they'd have to get it paid into a TSB account.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cash cow!

      I'm waiting for that call.

  19. adam payne Silver badge

    But the bank claimed that "each of these instances were 'connected accounts' where third party access had been granted, typically to family members" and that no personal customer information was shared.

    Bold statement but are you really sure? Wouldn't want that to come back to bite you are anything.

    They hired IBM! Oh dear, they really do have no idea how to fix it.

    1. yoganmahew

      @Adam

      "They hired IBM! Oh dear, they really do have no idea how to fix it."

      There can surely be no greater admission of failure, can there?

  20. HmmmYes Silver badge

    And this is something that was planned and executed entirely within the bank.

    How will they ever deal with a cyber attack.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Devil

      How will they ever deal with a cyber attack.

      What are you talking about? They're the only bank in the world that's totall safe from any cyber-attacks!

      This is just the logical extension of the saying, "my network would be perfect if only it didn't have any users."

  21. wolfetone Silver badge

    I think I must be the only customer TSB has that's finding this all rather funny.

    You'll find me in the room that's covered in fire, just chanting "THIS IS FINE".

    1. Jason 24

      I am too, but then they aren't my primary bank, just use them to hold a couple of grand for the 3% interest.

      Very happy to see it going back to 5% after this!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I was a customer for a couple of years. Coincidentally my switch date was last Friday so just missed the fun and games.

    2. d3vy Silver badge

      "I think I must be the only customer TSB has that's finding this all rather funny"

      Now that I have been into a branch and transferred enough to cover next months bills into my billing account Ill join you. It will be a bit of a pain using a credit card for the next few weeks while the sort the issues out but 5% interest is pretty decent for my kids savings!

  22. Aitor 1 Silver badge

    No account

    On monday, for a short span of time, I could see my accounts. Seemed my personal and shared accounts were kinda mixed.

    On tuesday, no access.

    On wednesday night , I did not have an account!!

    Now I have an account again... the system is sloooow and my salary is not there.. colleages with other banks already have the money. It is no problem for me.. but WTF.

  23. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Facepalm

    So TSB's IT went down the drain and they hired IBM?

    Ha ha ha ... Funny. Very funny.

    Oh, wait. You're serious?

  24. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge
    FAIL

    So TSB's answer is to throw more people at at it.

    Outsiders, that had nothing to do with building the system, no less. Clearly, nobody in TSB manglement has read The Mythical Man Month. Ironic, since it was written by a former (and highly respected) IBMer.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: So TSB's answer is to throw more people at at it.

      "Clearly, nobody in TSB manglement has read The Mythical Man Month. Ironic, since it was written by a former (and highly respected) IBMer."

      You might have read at least the first post.

  25. Stephen Booth

    Not your normal outsourcing

    Everybody is talking about this being outsourcing and they should have stuck with their in-house tech people.

    My reading of this is that they are switching between two outsourcing suppliers. They lost any in-house system when TSB was spun out and were being held over a barrel by lloyds so they hired somebody to create a replacement platform and got shafted again. Probably because the bank does not have its own technical staff to evaluate the solution properly.

    The lloyds in-house techies who were running things till last week are probably still at their desks business as usual.

    1. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

      Re: Not your normal outsourcing

      I thought the system they were migrating to was internal but from their new Spanish overlords?

  26. chivo243 Silver badge
    Trollface

    IBM

    I bill money? I bill massive? I bill millions?

    I got the ball rolling...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IBM

      Insider Banking Misconduct

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IBM

      I've Been Made ?

  27. Mystereed

    Who has just a single account these days?

    Another account with a buffer chunk of cash in case the main one goes down?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Who has just a single account these days?

      and Credit cards with other banks.

      All part of spreading the risk of this sort of thing.

      But yes, and a thick wad of £20's hidden at home.

  28. Craigie Bronze badge

    'new' system

    From what I've read, this 'new' system that they were transferring to is a UK version of a system designed in the year 2000.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh, that's OK then

    Off to find the popcorn, what could possibly go wrong adding IBM to this monumental fustercluck?

    Delighted only to have about £23 sat in a TSB account I use solely for switching

  30. hi-ghteak

    Dr Watson, I believe?

    It makes total sense to hire IBM, since they can just use IBM Watson to auto-magically fix the mess with its advanced AI!

  31. dullpointerexception

    We never will, but it would be really interesting to find out the root cause for all of this.

    What I don't get is that common sense would dictate that you'd already have moved the vast majority of the account and transactional data beforehand, and then just migrate the delta over the big bang weekend. You'd also move all of your staff's accounts over to the new system (fun for them) to see how it handles that volume of business for an extended pilot period in the run up to go live.

    If they've done all of that, and it's still a simple case of the new system just can't cope with the volume of transactions per second, well, best of British / Spanish fixing that quickly!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "You'd also move all of your staff's accounts over to the new system (fun for them) to see how it handles that volume of business for an extended pilot period in the run up to go live."

      Maybe that was the plan but the staff saw it coming and switched.

  32. errol_finn

    Dread

    You have to feel sorry for the lower level IT staff, they will be burnt out from all this and will probably be forced out once IBM moves in, having seized on this fantastic opportunity.

    1. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: Dread

      Them and the front-line staff in branches and call centres.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Using IBM - aka I'm By Myself - to fix this isn't going to help. This smells like a failure of architecture/design & having the wrong developer expertise. Below is their cloudy stack and I bet that this project lacked Engineers with Spring Microservices expertise & true SDETs, rather than traditional QA'ers. I can't help but think they used QTP & Selenium playback QA monkeys when for something of this scale they needed Amazon/Netflix/Google quality SDETs.

    ... Component of the BancSabadell Architecture team in the TSB project (TSB Bank in UK acquired by BancSabadell group) for the definition and implementation of a new banking platform based on the latest technologies and methodologies and oriented to a hybrid infrastructure between on-premises and public cloud

    Technologies:

    -PaaS (TIBCO SilverFabric)

    -Micro services (Spring Cloud Netflix)

    -SOA (TIBCO AMX Service Grid, TIBCO BusinessWorks, TIBCO API Exchange Gateway)

    -Single Page Application (AngularJS)

    -Asynchronous Messaging (TIBCO EMS)

    -APM (Application Performance Monitoring)

    -Distributed Search & Analytics (ElasticSearch)

    -Containerization (Docker)...

  34. scrubber

    Fight Club

    Was Tyler Durden on the migration team? Is this just the start of Project Mahem?

    1. defiler Silver badge

      Re: Fight Club

      The first rule of Project Mayhem is you don't ask questions.

      The second rule of Project Mayhem is you don't ask questions.

  35. cs9

    Echo the sentiment about Brooks's Law, but I believe this is actually Ginni's corollary:

    "Adding IBM resources to a PR disaster makes it more of a PR disaster"

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Say what you will about IBM...

    And most of it is richly deserved, too.

    However, in this case, being familiar with how IT in the banking industry works (think toilet bowl of piranhas), bringing IBM will likely fix the issue to some extent....especially since their own in-house IT made a complete cock-up of things.

    Anon because you know, employed in the banking industry in IT

  37. d3vy Silver badge

    ARRRRRRRRGGGG

    Ive just tried to log into business banking and it wouldnt let me in. It says my user name or password is wrong so I selected forgot my password.

    It said that it couldnt find my account - assuming a mistake in my user name I hit the "forgot my user name" option and filled in the form. Remember this is on the BUSINESS banking page. It gave me my personal account user name.

    In short they have properly fucked up - Years ago they tried to link my personal and business accounts together into one online login.... and failed (I got £150 compo for that!) Now it looks like they have lost the business login altogether!

    Fan-Fucking-Tastic.

    Now to sit on the phone for 2 hours.

    Edit :

    Just noticed the error message (Verbatim) :

    "1100086: Sorry, we can't identify you from the information that you 've given. Please check it and try again."

    At first glance that seems ok. Then "you 've" I know its only a typeo but HOW THE FUCK WAS THAT NOT PICKED UP IN TESTING? If they have missed something that basic what hope is there of anything else having been properly looked at?

    Oh and the "Help and support" link goes to a blank page - quite appropriate.

    1. clanger9

      HOW THE FUCK WAS THAT NOT PICKED UP IN TESTING?

      Indeed. More examples:

      - The account list page is titled "holding list" (yep, in lower case).

      - The pages are trying (and failing) to load resources from internal test domains.

      This is pretty basic stuff that even cursory testing would pick up.

      I'm sure there'll be plenty of blame to go around, but it does look like they went live with software that wasn't sufficiently tested. On the up side, the website is more-or-less working again now, so hopefully they're over the worst...

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bank could go under

    If they cant rollback and then takes weeks to get the system working then this bank is an ex bank. Its why you never have more than 85k in the account so you are covered.

    1. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: Bank could go under

      "Its why you never have more than 85k in the account so you are covered"

      True but not comforting as even if I get my money back the time lost, hassle and of course charges from companies waiting for payment will be significant.

    2. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

      Re: Bank could go under

      I wish I had 85k sitting in a bank account in the first place!!!

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Bank could go under

        For a business account, £85k on the day before payday isn't necessarily a lot of money.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not even the biggest baknking failure of 2018...

    There are some major changes coming to all UK banks this year, this TSB issue will be small fry compared to some of them.

    My prediction for big failure is Cheque Clearing from August bringing various banks major headaches and public disruption of service. Probably a good idea to stash some cash under the mattress.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Not even the biggest baknking failure of 2018...

      I think I have written a gran total of two cheques this year. If the Cheques clearing system goes down it is hardly the end of the universe as we know it.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Not even the biggest baknking failure of 2018...

      The last cheque I received was about 3 years ago, for an insurance claim payout. I can't remember when the last cheque I wrote was, but definitely more than 3 years ago.

  40. 2fast748

    Long time customer had access issues this week but all of my transactions have gone through so the back end is working just the user interface(s) that are going pear shaped.

  41. colinb

    Want to be the new TSB Head of Infrastructure?

    Job Posted

    https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/633114556/

    Current quality bar: Low

    1. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: Want to be the new TSB Head of Infrastructure?

      Well spotted - I love this bit from the ad:

      'Hello, we're TSB, and we're different from other banks.’

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Want to be the new TSB Head of Infrastructure?

      Taken from the post, classic !

      "Ability to cope in a technically complex and fast-changing environment"

  42. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Second quarter financial results

    Will be called: "We're putting things right (again)"

    I'm uncertain if there will be a bank left by the time the third quarter ends.

  43. Inspector71

    Old, old story

    Remember all, management it say, IT is just a annoying cost, it's just a drain on the business.

    Until that is you suddenly realise that your business is IT.

    <Nelson Muntz voice> Ha-Ha

  44. steviebuk Silver badge

    "We're....

    ...putting things right, by making them worse by going with IBM.".

    Oh dear. I don't see IBM helping and I'm not sure how much longer IBM will be around.

  45. returnofthemus

    TSB hires IBM amid online banking woes...

    I sense deep dissappoint amongst the anti-IBM brigade, but you only have to take a good look around, who else were they gonna call?

    LOL!

    1. defiler Silver badge

      Re: TSB hires IBM amid online banking woes...

      who else were they gonna call?

      Ghostbusters? Not sure they'd do any worse by this point.

  46. Mr Gullible

    Have they tried turning it off and on again?

    1. Thoguht Silver badge

      Apparently it's Linux, not Windows, so doing that won't help. I'm sure they must have tried it a few times just in case, though.

  47. jonfr

    Always have two banks

    I read in a article few years ago that the smart idea is to have two or more banks. In the case one of them (your main) messes something up, goes bankrupt or just burns to the ground for some reason. At least that way you have access to active bank service. I think anyone that is having issues at the moment needs to move to a new bank already and forget TSB for the moment.

    It is also clear that IT at TSB did not use the process of duplicating the data first and then switch on the new system. Having the old system as a backup just in case something didn't work as planned or not work at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Always have two banks

      TSB clearly do not have a DRP. Is that a breach of the rules for a bank?

  48. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge
    Holmes

    Half and half?

    Looks like the back end is churning away doing all the right things, and the front end is totally fucked.

    Probably soon after the problems started someone decided that the bank was up and running and handling the usual business fine, and all that was needed was to fix the web front end and all would peachy. So forward, no rollback, we have migrated successfully, break out the champers and put up a notice apologizing to those few users who were having online problems (temporarily).

    Just a bit of Agile fail early fail often with those weird webby types. Couple of sprints and all fixed.

    By the time it was obvious that online access was borked long term and wasn't going to be sorted any time soon a couple of days had passed and reverting to the old system was nigh on impossible and getting harder every second.

    The only option appeared to be to plough on and pray for a miracle.

    If there is not enough hardware to handle the front end load then it's going to take more than a quick trip to PC World to stand up more kit and get it integrated. This may be where IBM come in.

    1. Thoguht Silver badge

      Re: Half and half?

      From reading various comments over the past few days, though, it looked like people were saying the whole thing was in the Amazon cloud. So if that's really the case, surely then it would be trivially easy (albeit not cheap) to throw more hardware at the problem. Which suggests a deeper systemic issue.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Half and half?

      In addition to the champers... you forgot to mention the upper management bonuses being passed around. That account is probably handled by a different bank.

    3. RancidRodent

      Re: Half and half?

      "Looks like the back end is churning away doing all the right things, and the front end is totally fucked."

      Yes, the decades old (ex mainframe) COBOL bit (that has been sunset and "containerised" under MicroFocus (yee gods)) is working - it's the new fancy-dan front end script kiddie stuff that's borked.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Half and half?

      They did actually break out the champers...

      The Guardian has uncovered images on LinkedIn of IT workers in Spain who handled the botched transfer celebrating with sparkling wine and exclaiming “TSB transfer done and dusted!” and “Hell of a team!”. The pictures were posted just as the meltdown was beginning, and up to 1.9 million customers were subsequently locked out of their accounts.

      Link

  49. Sir Loin Of Beef
    Mushroom

    Better than WPP, with all of the people IBM keeps letting go?

    Wish in one hand, poop in the other and see which one fills up first.

  50. jamesdagger

    TSB

    = Thick Stokie Bastard

    aka Me.

  51. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Sisyphus is not happy, as getting IBM on the team now means that he now will have to carry the object* upwards whilst farting** a merry tune and also have to take a short course on the OSHA act on a regular basis lest he should hurt himself.

    *greased with Face Man's special grease

    **past the inserted bluetooth-controlled buttplug which got inserted to stop him from farting

    IMHO this may (or may not be) the beginning of the end.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IBM

    Using IBM is a good idea, they have the Lloyds IT staff who understand the old system.

    Buy shares in IBM because they will make a fortune from this.

    PS. Perhaps Ginni will come over with Trump in July to say how great they were.

    1. RancidRodent

      Re: IBM

      'Cept they're not running on the old system nor any part of it, nor is there a migration path back to it. That said, IBM probably don't understand the old system anyway - the people who do would have been sacked by now - "replaced" by those who can do the needful - until the needful needs doing...

      The reality is nobody ever got the sack for hiring IBM, but there is a first time for everything - IBM is an empty husk, Ginni Rometty has thrown the baby out with the bathwater - there's no in-depth knowledge left. She bet on cloud forgetting that z and the old men who smell of wee who understand it actually pay the bills. IBM is doomed, Ginni strangled the golden goose.

      1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

        Re: IBM

        Going to be very interesting going forward as IBM decimated itself from within.

        Anybody got fresh and hot poocorn*?

        *NOT the stuff CMOT peddles

  53. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    TSB

    The Bank that likes to say YES!Oops!

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: TSB

      The bank that likes to say java.lang.NullPointerException.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Drowning Man

    So the drowning man is going to pay for the privilege of being thrown an anchor?

    1. Thoguht Silver badge

      Re: Drowning Man

      More likely, the customers are going to pay for the bank being fined. OK, so this is not quite as insane as fining NHS trusts who screw up because are chronically short of money, but when a company has a single shareholder, they really aren't going to let themselves suffer.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is the new infrastructure like I wonder?

    Heavily snipped from the article: "In 2015, Sabadell said ... £450m .... would be "more than sufficient" for the switch ... from Lloyds' to a newly developed version of its Proteo system. That was designed in 2000 specifically for mergers, and is based on Accenture's Alnova system. But the transition of the 5 million-plus customers ... to the new platform ... Proteo4UK ... CEO Paul Pester admitted today .... an "incredibly bumpy" move. Proteo4UK is a new core banking system with TSB-specific customer-facing components."

    Gartner article, 2002: "Alnova Financial Solutions, formerly Altamira, is an integrated core banking solution supported on IBM S/390, Unix and Microsoft platforms with Java or .NET technology, backed by Accenture's experience."

    So Alnova is at least 16 years old, but formerly something else. Based on that, Sabadell created Proteo. Based on that, they then created Proteo4UK.

    I bet it's the sort of infrastructure setup you'd try to move off on as quick as you could, not move 5 million customers on to!

    I think Unisys have something to do with it as well.

    I'd just get my money out of TSB. A bank is only as good as its IT.

    1. James Anderson

      Re: What is the new infrastructure like I wonder?

      Not so fast Tenemos T24 is the only successful banking package which was written recently. (Started sometime in the late 1990s).

      Part of its success was due to it modest initial ambitions. A fully functioning system aimed at small overseas operations with few transactions and customers. They have gradually increased performance, capacity and scalability to handle large sized banking operations.

      Nearly every large bank is running COBOL code written in the 1980s or before on an IBM mainfram.

      Some are still running on UNISYS. For smaller banks RPG on AS/400 is the default choice.

      These systems are difficult to write, especially when you analise the use cases and find that the "user" in 60 per cent of the cases turns out to be some government department. Use cases involving actual customers probably account for about 10 per cent.

      But never mind all good OO text books show an example banking program in 10 lines or less.

  56. Cynicalmark
    Devil

    I can imagine.....

    Maybe something along these lines?

    Director - we need to transfer these accounts to our new system

    IT - what new system?

    Director- oh this new wonderful package we just bought. We had a meeting about it.

    IT - Nope. We didn’t have a meeting.

    Director- oh we did, you weren’t there but the nice sales chap told us you would say yes so we signed for it.

    IT - ffs. OK, we will have to learn about this and transfer say a thousand dummy accounts in and out of it and test all aspects....

    Director- ahem no. We have been told by the board that it must happen this way on Friday....

    IT - ffs when? We will lose data potentially, and well fuck it - I quit.

    Director- fine I will use Colin the Intern - he reckons he was better than you anyway and knows this outsourcing type jobbie who can help him.

    IT - Good luck you prat

    1 week later

    Director - Colin what is wrong? You said you could do it..

    Colin - ......door swinging.....tumbleweed rolls across empty IT dept.

    Director- did we pay him any money? No? Oh bugger. Hello IBM? Do you know how to do this?

    IBM - please wait caller, we are asking on global forums for answers as all our best and brightest were told they were not required a while back. While you are on the line could you tell us if we have answered the question to your satisfaction.....?

    Director - Fabulous, yes, i see you know what you’re doing. I’ll break the good news to the board.

    Something like that maybe?

    Total incompetence comes to mind. It seems obvious that zero test data transfer runs were carried out, the fools just thought lets just transfer the lot in one go.

    Just total effing incompetence, I mean clusterfucking moronic twattery of the highest level.

  57. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Logically all people who still cling to their TSB accounts, should really look at migrating to another bank, since they will pay for IBM's "services".

    Best to get out soonest. Tomorrow may be too late.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not surprised at any of this. I spoke to a former colleague who was on the testing team in the UK and he said it was madness. Supposedly Agile but really waterfall shoved into sprints. Huge numbers of defects being raised which when fixed, would produce more defects. Myriad of minor problems such as Spanish error messages and poorly worded text were ignored as there was no time to fix them. Getting bank hardware to connect successfully was a lottery, I imagine the poor sods in the branches are in as much pain as the customers. The test cases were written by the Spanish developers so you can imagine the level of detail they contained.

    Senior management would breeze in from time to time, be fed happy path demos and be on their way none the wiser. There was definitely some spin going on in the project, no bad news was ever reported internally or otherwise. They use to offer crappy prizes for tester and team of the week and even had a test case lottery FFS.

    Nobody seriously thought it could be ready by 2019 never mind the original implementation date of October 2017. But dates had to be met to avoid Lloyds increase in their IT fees so it all ploughed ahead regardless.

  59. Peter 6
    FAIL

    A long time coming.

    Visa were chasing Lloyds Banking Group as far back as 2007 to improve their capacity to process transactions. Their IT systems have always been a bit of a joke. I believe at one point Visa were processing about 30-40% of LBG's transactions during one Christmas period because LBG's systems couldn't cope and they were too lazy/scared to upset the carefully built equilibrium made up of decades of mergers and acquisitions so found it easier to pay Visa in yachts to process their traffic for them.

    TSB are a casualty of this awful approach to IT policy.

  60. The Boojum

    No one ever got fired for hiring IBM

    But they might just get fired for having to hire them in the first place.

  61. Anonymous Tribble

    I've been banking with TSB for nearly 40 years. In that time I've only seen a small number of minor cock-ups (two staff issues, one computer), but this one is just ridiculous.

    I've been trying for days to make a transfer to another account (not TSB) before that one goes overdrawn, but it says my password is the wrong length. I've also been trying to pay off my TSB credit card, but get the same problem.

    Also, the site is really slow. I get templates showing, then when I select an option it just shows as a blank screen for ages before the details appear. Someone has made a bad technology decision here.

    Today when I try to log in (normal login screen, all details correctly entered) I get "you have successfully logged OUT".

    I don't want to switch, because the staff in my local branch are really nice, and usually very competent and I know this isn't their fault at all. *sigh*

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really wanted to say something nasty, but I shall refrain from doing so.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So Which Bank to Flee to?

    Just considering on the basis of IT competence, which bank should TSB refugees take their money to?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So Which Bank to Flee to?

      None are perfect or immune from day long disasters.

      I'd go with Nationwide though, as I don't think their systems lend themselves to this scale of cockup.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So Which Bank to Flee to?

        "I'd go with Nationwide though, as I don't think their systems lend themselves to this scale of cockup."

        I believe they've already been through the pain of modernising their banking platform - though it didn't result in a week or more of outages.

        Either way, probably the safest bet. Plus you get to vote for the CEO and board every year if you like.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trustee Savings Bank

    On the one hand TSB save £200m by moving off Lloyds systems and we've just announced a profit of £225m.

    On the other hand,

    No overdraft fees for a month has just cost us £10m.

    Extra interest on savings will cost £20m. ( Thankyou as I have an account with them )

    That's before we pay

    - IBM a vast fee.

    - Customer ex-gratia payments

    - FCA fines

    - ICO fines for data breaches

    - Loss of customer goodwill

    - Severance packages for directors

    I'm sure the next bank to migrate will plan better.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One moment...

    So let me get this straight; TSB hired IBM to ***FIX*** their problems???

    Ha Ha!! Ho Ho!! There's a good one. Didn't know TSB was run by comedians.

    More likely it's an opportunity to make their currently broken system look GOOD by comparison.

  66. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Trollface

    A copy of ms axxess 97 will work better than their current systen

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