Ex-TSB CIO fined £80k over bungled IT migration

Ex-TSB CIO fined £80k over bungled IT migration

The former chief information officer of TSB Bank has been fined over £80,000 for his part in a bungled IT migration programme in 2018 that locked customers out of their accounts for weeks and led to months of ongoing technical problems.

In April 2018, TSB updated its IT systems and migrated the data for its corporate and customer services on to a new IT platform from parent company Banco Sabadell. While the data itself migrated successfully, the platform immediately experienced technical failures. This resulted in significant disruption to the continuity of TSB’s banking services, including branch, telephone, online and mobile banking.

All of TSB’s branches and a significant proportion of its 5.2 million customers were affected by the initial issues. Some customers continued to be affected by some issues and it took until December 2018 for TSB to return to business-as-usual.

In December, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority fined the bank a combined £48.6 million.

Now, the PRA has taken aim at former CIO Carlos Abarca, who, the regulator says, had responsibility for TSB complying with its outsourcing rules. In particular, he was responsible for TSB’s key outsourcing relationship with its main third-party supplier for the IT migration programme.

As part of this, he gave assurance to the TSB Board that the third party, as key supplier, was prepared for migration. "However," says the PRA, "he failed to ensure that TSB had itself obtained sufficient assurance from the third party before doing so".

Abarca agreed to resolve the matter with the PRA, ensuring he got a 30% discount on his fine, bringing it down from £116,600 to £81,620.

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Comments: (2)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 14 April, 2023, 09:16Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Is this the first time that an employee has been personally fined by regulator for their snafus in the company? 

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith - RTGS & ClearBank - London 14 April, 2023, 15:10Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I'm curious as to why it would be just the CIO. There would have been others involved under SMR. Key decision makers are also captured, these would have reported into the CIO, so how are they not also being fined, or were they found to have done everything correclty?