Trouble at TSB

Tomorrow's Business

TSB is working hard to fight the notion that it is a Totally Shambolic Bank and it certainly isn’t the fault of the PR people that the computers seem to keep falling over.

But I fear it tried to do too much today, combining a job cuts announcement with a strategy overhaul led by new chief executive Debbie Crosbie.

The bank wants us to note that it is starting “a new chapter with meaningful competitive strengths”, but mostly what hacks will hear is that it is axing hundreds of jobs and scores of branches.

Lumping them together is bound to lead to mocking headlines like this in The Mirror, which has “TSB to close 82 branches as part of ‘growth’ strategy.”

Telling us you have a “relentless focus on better serving customers” just as you get rid of lots of customer service people just doesn’t work.

Surely it would be far better to announce the cuts, solemnly, simply and with an apology, then do the stuff about the investment and the “digital transformation” later, especially if you’re a bank with a recent history of screw-ups.

The press release quotes the likable Crosbie saying that the new plan “involved some difficult decisions”, as if those decisions weren’t hers.

In person, Crosbie comes across well. Not today though.

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