28 March 2015

TSB chief uses Twitter to blame HP server for IT meltdown

27 January 2014  |  6935 views  |  5 ATM

The CEO of TSB Bank has blamed an HP server failure for the meltdown which left Lloyds Banking Group customers unable to use debit cards and cash machines for several hours yesterday.

The problem at the part state-owned group affected Lloyds, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and TSB customers between around 3:00pm and 7:30pm yesterday afternoon.

A minority of transactions at the point-of-sale failed to go through, while around half of the group's 7000 ATMs suffered problems. Credit cards and online and phone banking services were unaffected.

The group has begun an investigation into the issue but TSB CEO Paul Pester has used Twitter to provide a disgruntled customer with an update:

A group spokeswoman later told the BBC: "We are working with our suppliers to understand what caused the hardware failure, but there is no evidence that it was as a result of an external intervention or attack on our systems.

"We continually review and update our systems as necessary and make significant investment to do this."

There have been several high-profile tech meltdowns at UK banks in the last year, with RBS chief Ross McEwan admitting last month that the group was reaping the consequences of decades of IT neglect.

A recent survey from Fujitsu suggests that such problems could prove costly to banks, with a quarter of Brits saying that they would seriously consider switching their provider if it suffered a major technology failure.

Comments: (5)

Andrew Smith - CloudZync - London | 27 January, 2014, 10:12

Didnt clarify if that server was indeed built in 1978 though...

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A Finextra member | 27 January, 2014, 15:12

Am I reading that tweet right - did he really just claim they were using a PDP or is this an acronym I'm not overly familiar with...?

I'd love to know what actually did happen - lets face it the CEO is not going to have the detail in that short space of time.

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Matt White - Finextra - Toronto | 27 January, 2014, 15:40


PDP are his initials - he signs off most tweets that way.

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A Finextra member | 27 January, 2014, 21:36

Why, in the 21st century, should one failing server disrupt such a critical service?

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Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 28 January, 2014, 15:11

Social listening has been de riguer in B2C but a bank CEO tweeting about his tech vendor is a good illustration of why this technology is relevant in B2B as well. Hopefully, HP won't reply with the standard boilerplate used by many B2C service providers (including maybe Lloyds TSB:)), "Please DM us your contact info and one of our executives will get in touch with you"!

I clicked thru' and learned that the "this" in @PaulPester's tweet to @dangerfield_gem refers to the charge made by some website that this IT meltdown was caused by offshoring. By asserting that there's "no truth in this", TSB's CEO has issued a highly vocal and public endorsement of offshoring.

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