TSB online banking problems

How to complain and get compensation

TSB customers endured two months of disruption from April 2018 after an IT meltdown hit its online banking and mobile app.

This short guide explains what went wrong, answers key questions about the outage and shows you how to try to claim compensation.

In this guide

What went wrong?

TSB's online banking and mobile app were offline or disrupted for some from Friday 20 April.

The bank started a major upgrade of its systems at 4pm that day, and had warned 1.9 million of its customers that some services, such as online banking, making payments or transferring money, wouldn't be possible until 6pm on Sunday 22 April.

However, on the evening of Sunday 22 April customers found they were unable to log back in to mobile and internet banking. A few customers were also given access to other people's accounts – though TSB says this issue was quickly fixed.

The wider problems continued for more than six weeks. On Wednesday 25 April TSB had claimed its services were up and running again – but by the evening it admitted its online banking was operating at 50% capacity, meaning only one in two customers who tried were able to log in.

The problems were mainly fixed from the end of June.

'You have messed me about'

Furious TSB customers vented their anger at the bank for weeks – here's just a taster of the deluge of complaints we saw:

What action did TSB take?

TSB struggled to handle the crisis effectively – but it took steps to try to mollify angry customers, including:

  • Brought in outside help from technology heavyweight IBM to try to resolve the ongoing technical issues.

  • Pledged to reimburse any expenses incurred by customers as a result of the outage, with chief exec Paul Pester insisting "no one will be left out of pocket". It's been less clear on how customers will be compensated for inconvenience though.

  • Waived all overdraft fees and interest charges for personal banking and small business customers for March and April.

  • Increased the interest rate on its Classic Plus current account from 3% AER to 5% AER from Wednesday 2 May. However, this interest is only paid on up to £1,500 – see our best current account savings for help comparing.

Beware of scammers – some have lost £1,000s

Over recent months we've seen a raft of complaints from TSB customers about suspected fraudulent activity on their accounts, with some seeing £1,000s taken. Sadly, conmen were swift to take advantage of the chaos caused by the bank's IT meltdown.

Among the worst stories we've heard was one from Gina, a cancer patient in her 30s who had her £29,000 critical illness insurance payout stolen by fraudsters. Thankfully TSB agreed to refund Gina – for full info see TSB to refund fraud victims as cancer patient has £29,000 payout stolen.

TSB issued guidance to customers to help them spot fraud. It says if it were to contact you, it would never:

  1. Ask you for your PIN or your online banking passwords.
  2. Email you with a link directly to a webpage asking for your username, password or any other personal details.
  3. Ask you to email or text your PINs, card details or passwords.
  4. Ask you to authorise a payment or send money into a new account that you haven't already set up.
  5. Ask you to bank through a website or app that isn't TSB.
  6. Request that you carry out a 'test' transaction online.
  7. Ask you to make any transaction unless it's inside a branch.
  8. Ask you to hand over cash or cards to anyone.
  9. Talk to you on social media through accounts that aren't its official ones (Twitter – @TSBFacebook – @Tsbbankuk and Instagram – @Tsbbank).
  10. Advise you to purchase land, diamonds or any other commodities.

It also says that if you do receive any suspicious correspondence, to email it to 
emailscams@tsb.co.uk.

'I got £200, now I'm switching bank' – how to get money back

If you think you lost out as a result of the unexpected outage, you can try to reclaim.

Some have told MoneySavingExpert.com they've been awarded compensation for the inconvenience and loss they've faced as a result of the problems. Here are some successes we've seen:

Wrote a letter of complaint in May to TSB regarding its online banking problems. It paid £200 into my account last week. Result - and I'm now changing bank. Thanks.

I got £73 compensation. I'm over the moon it's sorted, I've been able to breathe this week.

It comes after MoneySavingExpert revealed at the end of April that a couple in Glasgow were among the first customers to get compensation, being paid £40 after complaining just a couple of hours after the outage started.

If you've had success claiming compensation, let us know.

What can I claim for?

Your chances of success here likely depend on what you're trying to claim for:

  • If you lost money as a result of the outage, you should be able to get it back. If, for example, you were unable to log in to your account and make a payment, and incurred a financial penalty as a result, you should be able to reclaim this. 

    If you racked up additional costs indirectly, such as a large phone bill, you can also try to claim for these when you put in a complaint. Be specific, and include relevant evidence where possible.

    TSB's chief executive Paul Pester (who has now left) tweeted that "no one will be left out of pocket" as a result of the service issues, though TSB hasn't given any further details.

  • If you were NOT directly financially affected, give it a go – but there are no guarantees. TSB hasn't given any official indication of what compensation it'll offer for inconvenience. But while there are no guarantees, it's worth submitting a complaint if you've been inconvenienced.

    It may help your case if you're specific about how you've been affected, for example if you've had to take time off work to sort out urgent problems.

How to submit a claim

You can submit a complaint to TSB directly via the following methods:

  • Via its online complaints form.

  • Via post, to: Customer Relations, TSB Bank PLC, PO Box 373, Leeds LS14 9GQ.

  • In one of its 550+ branches – find your nearest using its branch locator.

  • By calling its customer service number, 03459 758 758, between 7am and 11pm, seven days a week, or +44 (0)203 284 1576 from outside the UK.

Alternatively you can submit your claim using the free online complaints tool Resolver*. See our How to Complain guide for more tips.

Don't get what you want? Go to the ombudsman

TSB is covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service, so if you're still not happy after it has dealt with your complaint, ask the ombudsman to look at your case. The Financial Ombudsman Service says you can claim compensation for losses incurred due to a bank computer glitch, although it will depend on specific circumstances.

See more details in our Financial Ombudsman guide.

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