The Treasury select committee of MPs has “lost confidence” in TSB chief executive Paul Pester’s ability to lead the troubled bank.
In a letter to TSB chairman Richard Meddings, they said: “…the committee considers that the TSB Board should give serious consideration as to whether Dr Pester’s position as chief executive of TSB is sustainable.
“The committee has lost confidence in his ability to provide a full and frank assessment of the problems at TSB, and to deal with them in the best interests of its customers.
“It is concerned that, if he continues in his position, this could damage trust not only in TSB, but in the retail banking sector as a whole. I ask that the board consider the committee’s view as a matter of urgency.”
The letter, signed by select committee chair Nicky Morgan said that MPs were “troubled by the complaints and compensation process, which is not meeting the high standards that you have personally promised the committee.”
Image: Treasury committee chair Nicky Morgan wrote to TSB after its chief executive appeared before MPs in June
The letter added that the bank’s problems have been compounded by TSB’s unsatisfactory public communications since 23 April, after its IT systems failed.
“These have often been complacent and misleading, and have failed to acknowledge the specific problems faced by customers.
“In this regard, the tone has been set from the top, by your chief executive. Whether intentionally or not, he has not been straight with the committee, and more importantly TSB’s customers, about the scale, nature and severity of the problems at TSB, and of the bank’s response.”
The letter went on to list specific examples in which MPs felt Dr Pester had fallen short in his leadership at the bank, in the wake of the IT systems meltdown and subsequent disruption for customers, which included 2,200 attempts at cyber fraud on digital bank accounts.
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“When he appeared before the Committee on 2 May, Dr Pester denied that there were delays or problems on TSB’s fraud reporting line, when in fact call volumes, waiting times and abandon rates were far higher than normal.
“No opportunity was taken to correct this in subsequent written evidence of 11 May, despite this containing a section entitled “Fraud”.More follows…