TSB bank faces bad start as website crashes on first day


It wasn't the start that TSB was hoping for as a stand-alone bank. Antonio Horta-Osorio, chief executive of Lloyds, had promised customers a smooth transition to the bank - back on the high street after an 18 year absence today.

However, on Sunday Lloyds Group launched new websites for the banks, and within hours, the internet banking functionality on all the Lloyds TSB group banks websites except RBS failed. So should Lloyds and TSB customers be worried?


The hanging of the websites was a major inconvenience to many, because it meant that people could not do their internet banking. Social media was filled with the frustration of customers. ‏@Biltawulf said: "I hope the long term effects of the Lloyds TSB split are not limited to me being unable to access my account online as they are presently." ‏@SmithsatNo4 said: "Trying to run a ‪#SmallBiz‬ & ‪@TSB‬ ‪#Bank‬ has let us down on their first day! Think it's time to move ‪#banks‬! ‪@LiveShopLocal‬ ‪#indieretail‬"

To make matters worse, people started to worry that they had been moved to TSB and not informed. Lisa Ranf said: "‪@AskLloydsTSB‬ am I with Lloyds ? Or TSB? Can't log in anywhere grrrr". ‏@dimdom said: "Hmm. Tried logging into Internet Banking with Lloyds and can't. Tried logging into IB with TSB and can't. Am I bankless? :S"


Internet banking on the TSB site is up and running again here. Meanwhile, Lloyds Banking Group issued a statement saying: "We are experiencing an issue with our Internet banking service this morning, which has affected the ability of some customers to log on successfully. We are working to resolve this as quickly as we can and we apologise to customers for the inconvenience this will have caused. Our branches, telephone banking and cashpoint facilities have not been affected in any way."

Lloyds said that the problems are now intermittent, and will be resolved shortly. There are reports that the banks were blaming unexpected volumes of traffic - although it begs the question of why they weren't prepared for so many people to log on to check their new bank account worked.

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So is this a worrying sign?

The split of Lloyds TSB is a complex business, and this looks distinctly like falling at the first hurdle. Lloyds has been forced to split up the group as part of the deal when the taxpayer took a 39% stake in the group - bailing it out of the dark hole it fell into during the credit crisis.

It was meant to spin off 631 branches - including all the Cheltenham and Gloucester branches and all Lloyds branches in Scotland - and then sell them to the Co-Operative bank, but after that calamity, the bank has moved onto plan B - where it spins out TSB, floats it as a standalone business in 2014 - and will pay back the taxpayers though the IPO.

Today is the start of that process. From 9am this morning, 4.5 million former Lloyds TSB customers will officially become TSB customers.

10 things we hate about our banks
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TSB bank faces bad start as website crashes on first day

More than 46,000 of 106,000 the complaints received by the FOS in the second half of last year related to payment protection insurance (PPI). And the organisation is expecting to receive a record 165,000 PPI complaints in 2012/2013.

The huge numbers are due to the PPI mis-selling scandal that should now be a thing of the past, but there is no doubt that the insurance, which can add thousands to the cost of a loan, is highly unpopular!

(Pictured: Martin Lewis after the PPI payout ruling)

Complaints about mortgages jumped by 38% in the last six months of last year, the FOS figures show, compared to an increase of just 5% in investment-related complaints.

Common gripes about mortgages include the exit penalties imposed should you want to sell up or change you mortgage before a fixed or discounted deal comes to an end, and the high arrangement fees charged by many lenders.

While there is nothing in the data released by the FOS about the number of complaints relating to savings accounts, hard-pressed savers have been struggling with low interest rates for several years now.

You can get up to 3.10% with Santander's easy-access eSaver account, but many older accounts are paying 1.00% or less and even this market-leading offer includes a 12-month bonus of 2.60% - meaning that the rate will plummet to just 0.50% after the first year.

Banks are imposing the highest authorised overdraft interest rates since records began, with today's borrowers paying an average of 19.47%, according to the Bank of England.

A typical Briton with an overdraft of £1,000 is therefore forking out around £200 in interest charges alone. Coupled with meagre returns on savings, it's enough to make your blood boil!

While authorised overdrafts may seem expensive, going into the red without permission will cost you even more due to huge penalty fees.

Barclays, for example, charges £8 (up to a maximum of £40 a day) each time that there is not enough money in your account to cover a payment.

If you need to send money abroad, the likelihood is that your bank will impose transfer charges - and offer you a poor rate of exchange. Someone transferring a five-figure sum could easily lose out by £500 or more as a result.

The good news, however, is that you can often get a better deal by using a currency specialist such as Moneycorp.

Automated telephone banking systems, not to mention call centres in far-flung parts of the world, are one of our top gripes - especially as we often encounter them when we are already calling to report a problem.

In the words of one disgruntled customer: "What is it about telephone banking that turns me into Victor Meldrew? Well, maybe it's the fourteen security questions, maybe it's the range of products that they try to push or maybe it's because I'm forced to listen to jazz funk at full volume while my phone bill soars.

"Actually though, I think it's because the people I eventually speak to rarely seem able to solve the issue I'm calling about."

The days of a personal relationship with your bank manager are long gone - for the huge majority of us at least.

When ethical Triodos Bank investigated recently why around 9 million Britons would not recommend their banks to a friend or relative, it found that almost a third felt they were not treated as individuals. Another 40%, meanwhile, were simply disappointed with the customer service they received.

When you're in a rush, the last thing you want to do is wait in a long queue at your local branch.

Researchers at consumer champion Which? recently found that most people get seen within 12 minutes, but you could have a much longer wait if you go in at a busy time. Frustrating stuff!

The Triodos Bank research also indicated that the bonus culture that ensured the bank's high-flying employees received large salaries, even when it was making a loss at the taxpayer's expense, was hugely unpopular with consumers.

About a quarter of those who would not recommend their current banks said this was the main reason why. And with RBS executives sharing a £785 million bonus pool despite the bank, which is 82% publicly owned, making a loss of £2 billion last year, it's not hard to see why.



The idea was that in the early days, customers would notice very little difference. They will have received a new debit card a few weeks ago, and their local branch will be rebranded, but for now everything else will stay the same. The bank will continue to be owned by the Lloyds TSB group too. It's only over the next few months that TSB will start to launch its own products.

This glitch will give customers pause for thought - raising concerns that all the assurances that everything will stay the same may not hold water.

For many the issues will continue. If, for example, your branch isn't local to you, this could cause some headaches. If you opened a Lloyds account in Scotland and then moved to England, your account will be TSB, but you may not have a branch locally to enable you to do things like pay in cheques. For the time being you can use your local Lloyds, but after the TSB branches are sold, you won't be able to do this any more.

Perhaps this is a good time for customers to remember that they don't have to spin off in the TSB split. They don't have to stay with Lloyds either. There are plenty of banks out there, many offering more competitive products and scoring more favourably on customer service. Perhaps this is a good time for us all to consider the options available to us.

10 consumer rights you should know
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TSB bank faces bad start as website crashes on first day

The law states that any goods you buy from a UK retailer should be of satisfactory quality, as described, fit for purpose and last a reasonable amount of time.

This applies even if you buy items in a sale or with a discount voucher. You may have to insist on these rights being respected, though.

Useful phrases to use when you want to show you mean business include, "according to the Sale of Goods Act 1979" and, if it's a service, "according to the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982".

Some shops will allow you to exchange goods without a receipt, but they can refuse to should they wish.

If the goods are faulty, however, another proof of purchase such as a bank statement should work just as well.

If you attempt to return goods within four weeks of the purchase, your chances of getting a full refund are much higher as you can argue that you have not "accepted" them.

After this point, you can only really expect an exchange, repair or part-refund.

The updated Consumer Credit Act states that card companies are jointly and severally liable for credit card purchases of between £100 and £60,260 (whether or not you paid just a deposit or the whole amount on your card).

Anyone spending between these amounts on their credit card is therefore protected if the retailer or service provider goes bust, their online shopping never arrives or the items in question are faulty or not as described.

Start by writing to the agency asking it to either remove or change the entry that you think is wrong. It will investigate the matter and find out whether you have been the victim of ID theft or a bank's mistake.

Within 28 days from receipt of your letter the agency should tell you how the bank has responded. If the bank agrees to change the entry, they will authorise the agency to update their records. They should also send updates to any other credit reference agencies they use.

You can also contact your lender directly to query a mistake. If the lender agrees to the discrepancy, ask them to confirm this in writing on their letterhead and send a copy to the agency, asking them to update your file.

The FOS settles disputes between financial companies such as banks and consumers.

If a financial organisation rejects a complaint you make about its services, you can therefore escalate that complaint to the FOS - as long as you have given the company in question at least eight weeks to respond.

The FOS will then investigate the case, and could force the company to offer you compensation should it see fit.

Bailiffs are allowed to take some of your belongings to sell on to cover certain debts, including unpaid Council Tax and parking fines.

They can, for example, take so-called luxury items such as TVs or games consoles. However, they cannot take essentials such as fridges or clothes.

What's more, they can only generally enter your home to take your stuff if you leave a door or window open or invite them in.

You are therefore within your rights to refuse them access and to ask for related documents such as proof of their identity. If they try to force their way in, you can also call the police to stop them.

Private sector debt collectors do not have the same powers as bailiffs, whatever they tell you.

They cannot, for example, enter your home and take your possessions in lieu of payment.

In fact, they can only write, phone, or visit your home to talk to you about paying back the debt. As with bailiffs, you can also call the police if you feel physically threatened.

Thanks to the Distance Selling Regulations, you actually have more rights buying online or by phone than on the High Street.

You can, for example, send most goods back within a week, for a full refund (including outward delivery costs), even if there's no fault.

You will usually need to pay for the return delivery, though. The seller must then refund you within 30 days.

We enter into contracts all the time, whether it be to join a gym, switch energy supplier or take out a loan.

In most cases, once you've signed a contract, you are legally bound by it. In some situations, however, you have the right to cancel it within a certain timeframe.

Credit agreements, for example, can be cancelled within 14 days. And online retailers must tell you about your cancellation rights for any contract made up to stand up legally.


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