Fresh from a renewed attack of the gremlins on its IT infrastructure, the UK's TSB has pledged to become more digitally-focused, closing branches and investing £120 million on mobile and online channels over the next three years.
The strategy update from new CEO Debbi Crosbie comes just days after a fresh outbreak of woe for the UK bank's long-suffering customers after an IT glitch led to delays in payments into accounts. This follows a torrid time for the bank, which has spent £370 million over the past year handling the fall-out from a badly-botched migration to a new core banking system from Spanish parent Banco Sabadell that locked customers out of their accounts for weeks.
Outlining the plans, CEO Crosbie says: “Our new strategy positions TSB to succeed in a challenging external environment at a time when we know customers want something different and better from their bank.
“The plan we’re sharing today involves some difficult decisions, but it sets TSB up to succeed in the future. Taken together, these changes will help us to serve more customers, better, for the long-term.”
The "difficult decisions" centre around proposals to close 82 branches with the loss of some 400 jobs and a streamlining of head office functions that will incur restructuring charges of £180m million.
On the IT front, the bank says it wants three-quarters of its customer base to become digitally active within the next three years.
The £120 million spend will be allocated to TSB’s mobile platform for in-app onboarding and sales, as well as investing in the automation of some of the bank’s branches. The bank also intends to take advantage of Open Banking reforms to foster deeper relationships with fintech startups offering innovative new services.
In terms of future stability, the bank intends to cut ties with the diverse range of suppliers managed on its behalf by Banco Sabadell's IT arm Sabis with the aim of taking direct control in the UK with clear accountability to recently-appointed chief operating officer Suresh Viswanathan .