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Banks are not tech companies but they are full of IT risk

Recent glitches at TSB and Visa hint at the strain.


Aftershocks from the infamous TSB migration to a new IT system in late April, which was so badly bungled as to become a defining case study for generations of bank operations and technology staff to come, were still rumbling in June. Paul Pester, chief executive of TSB, appeared once more in front of the Treasury select committee of the House of Commons to apologize and provide more details.

What started with many customers being unable to access their own accounts – although some were granted surprise access to other peoples’ – has given way to 70 times higher-than-ever fraud attempts. By early June, 1,300 customers had had money stolen from their accounts. Some others who tried to leave the bank and switch standing orders for regular bills to new accounts with other banks have discovered that TSB was telling their utility providers that these customers had died.

TSB had received over 100,000 complaints by mid June. The Treasury select committee is concentrating on how it has handled these, while leaving the dreary technical details of what went wrong to IBM.

Inadequate testing

IBM has delivered some preliminary views on wholly inadequate software testing.

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