When less PR is more

Tomorrow's Business

Paul Pester set out to change the face of banking. Given the total computer meltdown catastrophe he oversaw at TSB, no one can say he failed.

Pester is a likable guy, who made himself readily available to journalists, and gave good, punchy quotes about his plans to stick it to the big high street players.

He reveled in profile pieces that talked of his personal fitness and his certainty that TSB would shake up the industry like no one else.

As the computer problems escalated, he was forced to admit “we are on our knees”.

Maybe this was just bad luck. But it’s hard to escape the feeling that he’d have been less vulnerable to losing his job, as he did today, if he hadn’t left so many hostages to fortune in press interviews bragging about how brilliant TSB would become.

The bank wasn’t a start-up company that needed to attract attention. Perhaps it would have been better if Pester had spoken less and just got on with his job. If he’d walked the walk rather than talked the talk.



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