• TSB Blog

    News, views and insights from Paul Pester, CEO, and his leadership team.

  • What can the retail banking sector do to deliver a better deal for customers?

    Posted on 21 July 2015 by Paul Pester, CEO

    In the aftermath of the banking crisis and a series of mis-selling scandals, customer confidence in the banking sector is, quite rightly, at an all time low.

    In the past, people used to see banks as being at the heart of their local community. When asked nowadays people say banks put profits before people, treat customers unfairly and fail to contribute positively to wider society.

    At TSB we believe the answer lies firmly in competition.

    In a sector where only 2% of the population used the current account switching service last year, there has been very little impetus for banks to change their behaviours.

    In our eyes, genuinely effective competition will drive a range of positive pressures on the industry. Most importantly it will drive banks to place customers at the centre of everything they do, with two potential outcomes in particular.

    So how can change be brought about to give customers the kind of banking they want and deserve? 

    First, we think it will bring about a change in culture and a shift away from the short-term profit making mindset that led to events such as the PPI mis-selling scandal. This is because banks will start to see the competitive benefits of culture as a way to differentiate their brands - rather than simply sales.

    This is why at TSB we are pioneering a new approach to retail banking based on values, behaviour and experience.

    We have led the way in breaking the link between short-term profit making and financial incentives, rewarding our Partners the same percentage of salary - from CEO to bank teller based on customer service metrics - and only when the bank is in profit.

    And we have done this because of the competitive advantage that we believe it will give us with customers.

    Secondly, we believe more competition will introduce a much greater emphasis on providing customers with the power to make well-informed and confident choices about their bank and their financial products and services.

    We have sought to address this at TSB by explaining to customers how our products work and how we make our money. We believe that this will help people understand the real costs and benefits of banking and will explode the myth that banking is free in the UK. More detail can be found on our truth and banking website.

    We have also focused on transparent product design, creating products that don't have teaser rates that will fall away after a year such as our flagship current account.

    In conclusion, we believe that without greater competition, the sector as a whole will not face the pressure it needs to evolve - but in a more dynamic market, the need to provide better products, be open and transparent with customers and instil the right culture and behaviour, will become priorities for UK banks.

    Only then we will see the balance of power shift to customers. Customers will vote with their feet if they feel that the service and products their bank provides does not meet their expectations, as they will be safe in the knowledge that they can get a better deal elsewhere.

    Apple Pay coming to you soon

    Posted on 12 June 2015 by Ashley Machin, Chief Digital Officer

    On Monday, Apple announced that their new mobile payments service, Apple Pay , will be coming to the UK later this summer.  This is what we've been waiting for - not just for people like me who are into their gadgets - but also for anyone who wants a better banking experience.

    Without getting too 'techie' about how it will work, you will simply register your TSB debit or credit card to your Apple device, then you will be able to start paying for things with Apple Pay in shops and within apps. 

    Apple Pay will make banking easier

    The great news is that we'll be making Apple Pay compatible to almost all our debit and credit card customers - more than four million of them!

    Using Apple Pay promises to be simple and Apple has a simple summary about how it works over on their website.  

    Apple Pay will revolutionise mobile payments

    Apple Pay will revolutionise mobile payments because it makes banking a whole lot easier and that has got to be a good thing. Apple Pay has the potential to completely shake up the status quo.

    We know that customers want to be able to bank how they want, when they want, where they want. This is why TSB is committed providing local banking on demand to customers across the country. Customers can rest assured in knowing that TSB Partners will be on hand to help in branches while we continue to invest in online and digital backing capabilities.

    Allowing TSB customers to access Apple Pay through their debit and credit cards is just another example of TSB providing our customers with what they want, local banking on demand without the funny stuff.

    Banking will continue to change - in a digital sense at least - beyond what banks have traditionally provided and TSB is committed to providing its customers the best service both on and offline.

    Launch date for TSB

    While I don't have an exact launch date yet, I can say that we're working on making Apple Pay compatible with our debit and credit cards as soon as we can.

    We're really excited by this development, and I'll post an update to this blog as soon as I have more information.


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    Stability, flexibility and a great mortgage rate! Find out what TSB is doing to help people worried about mortgage rate rises

    Posted on 22 December 2014 by Ian Ramsden, Mortgage Director

    More than half* (55 per cent) of all British homeowners with a mortgage are worried about a potential increase in the Bank of England's Official Bank Rate and the knock-on effect it would have on their mortgage repayments.  TSB's Ian Ramsden explains what the bank is doing to help borrowers prepare.

    Like many people who have mortgages or are looking to get on the housing ladder, we at TSB have been thinking about what impact future increases to the Bank of England Bank Rate will have on their household finances and the ability to meet repayments.   

    The latest mortgage figures published by the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, show that more than eight out of ten people are currently looking to fix their mortgage as people may be beginning to plan for an increase to the historically low interest rate.

    We have carried out our own research which showed that while two-thirds of people (65 per cent) were interested in taking out a longer term (10-year) mortgage deal, many were put off by being locked in to one rate for 10 years or paying an early repayment charge if they wanted, or needed, to leave the deal early.

    Our new Fix and Flex mortgage deal
    It is against this backdrop that we have launched our new Fix and Flex mortgage deal. This is a deal which allows people to fix their mortgage repayments for the next decade, but gives them the option to leave without penalty after only five years, if they choose, or need, to.  This provides homeowners with both the stability a 10-year deal provides and the flexibility of a shorter deal.

    Fix and Flex also gives people a chance to benefit from a market leading interest rates starting at just 3.44 per cent and the range is available to people with a 10 per cent deposit or more.  All of this, without having to pay any product fees whatsoever. 

    We know that younger people in particular are concerned about the impact of future changes to the Bank Rate and many will not have experienced a rate change before. But whatever your age, if you're worried about a rate rise, get in touch and we'll do our best to answer your questions. Feel free to call us, come into a branch or Tweet us at @TSB

    *TSB research based on a Consumer Intelligence survey of a representative UK sample of 1,794 UK adults polled 10-15 December 2014.

    Twitter Q&A: unravelling the mystery of mortgages

    Posted on 11 December 2014 by Ian Ramsden,

    Following the success of our first Twitter Q&A during the summer, I wanted to give people another opportunity to ask any questions they had and get the #MortgageHelp they needed. In case you weren't able to tune in to the session a couple of weeks ago, I thought it would helpful to pull together the questions asked and the answers provided.

    On this occasion I teamed up with John Fitzsimons, Editor of  Love Money , and together we were answered peoples questions about a wide range of mortgage related subjects ranging from first time buyers to sorting out credit ratings. I haven't been able to include everything we were asked, but you can find out more about mortgages from these helpful links:

    Mortgages shouldn't be confusing and I hope this helps anyone who wants to know more about them. While this Q&A is now finished, if you have any general queries about TSB I'm sure the team who run the @TSB  Twitter account will do their best to help.

    1. Can you have three people on a mortgage?

    IR: Yes, but it can vary by lender.

    2. Why don't banks assess ability to pay on history of paying rent? My rent is 650pm but a mortgage would be less!

    IR: The lender's affordability assessment should highlight that you can afford this.

    3. When remortgaging is it possible to borrow more than existing mortgage to release capital. Any extra costs/problems? How does the money get transferred to new provider and us? Would the solicitor charge more for the extra work?

    IR: Yes, depending on your personal circumstances. There are no extra fees, but you will pay interest on the additional borrowing. Your existing debt will be paid off directly, & the remaining balance will be sent to your bank account via the solicitor. Most lenders offer free standard legal service for switching a mortgage. Check your solicitor doesn't have additional charges.

    4. Does it make sense to borrow the extra and capital overpayment to give option of payment holidays later?

    IR: It really depends on your personal circumstances. It would be best to speak to a mortgage advisor in this case.

    5. Can you tell me if there is anywhere I can access details of TSB interest rates on shared equity mortgages?

    IR: We have a number of different products. Our mortgage advisors will be happy to help choose the right product for you.

    6. Can I consolidate a normal mortgage and a buy to let mortgage and if so, can the total LTV be higher that 75%?

    IR: In principle you could consolidate by borrowing against 1 property, but it depends on your circumstances as would the LTV.

    7. Should there not be a more secure form of submitting/sending personal documents enforced by mortgage lenders?

    IR: Security is our primary concern. Customers can choose to come into branch & submit their documents face to face.

    JF: Mortgage process getting more technological, only matter of time before more secure online method developed.

    8. Can you tell me the type of questions I can expect from a mortgage lender as a first time buyer?

    IR: To help you find the right mortgage we'd need to understand things like deposit size & how much you'll be able to afford. Here's our 1st Time Buyers Mortgage Guide  http://tsb.ba/1h8gSAz   Qualified mortgage advisors can help you through the process.

    9. Will someone who isn't in debt but has defaults on their file struggle to get a joint mortgage?

    JF: It will be more difficult, but each lender will approach it differently, so don't give up!

    10. How do I get on the property ladder when house prices in LDN are rising faster than what I can save each month?

    JF: Few options w/ things like guarantor mortgages. Or do what I do and commute in from the shires!

    11. Any idea of how to obtain a mortgage for my housing association house with really bad credit rating with yourselves?

    JF: First, improve that credit rating. Our guide should help  http://bit.ly/1voluaq   Then worth speaking to a broker.

    12. On v low mortgage rate, putting saved money in ISA. Should I pay mortgage off early?

    JF: Personally, I'd prefer to get that debt clear first, then bump up ISA with money I was paying off mortgage with.

    13. Changed mortgage to consent to let 3 yrs ago. Can I move to another lender?"

    JF: Consent to Let supposed to be short-term. If you want to move to another lender, will have to be buy-to-let mortgage.

    14. My calculations suggest I will have a shortfall at end of mortgage term. Will I be forced to pay it?

    JF: You need to speak to your lender, to establish if your sums are right. Shouldn't be shortfall on full repayment mortgage.

    15. Are rates on comparison sites available direct from lenders. Can brokers get better rates?

    JF: Rates on comparison sites are available direct. Sometimes rates available through brokers will be different.

    Nominate a local hero this Christmas

    Posted on 28 November 2014 by Peter Navin, MD of Branch and Business Banking

    I hope you are looking forward to Christmas. It's a great time of year to spend with friends, family and the local community - and of course receiving presents!

    But what has this got to do with TSB , I hear you say? Well next week, in 20 of our branches*, we'll be inviting local people to come in and nominate their local unsung heroes - people who deserve an extra special 'thank you'.

    A gift tag for the nominated person can be hung on our TSB 'Giftmas' tree, a blue Christmas tree in the branch. Each local hero then is in with a chance to win a special gift of a Red Letter Day experience. Once all the nominations have been received, the local TSB bank manager will randomly pick and reveal the winner.

    Christmas tree with presents

    Why are we doing this?

    Our research shows that the average person says thanks 23 times a day, but six-out-of-10 do so fewer than 11 times a day as a result of their busy lives or simply forgetting.

    What our research also shows is that people think Christmas is an ideal time of year to thank someone in their local community. Our TSB Giftmas trees are therefore an ideal way for people to do just this. We want to give some neighbourly support to the local communities we're based in and give people the opportunity to thank those around them.

    So, if you're local to one of our 20 participating TSB branches, come in, say hi and nominate a local hero to be in with a chance of winning a gift. We very much like the idea of the TSB Giftmas tree and we hope you do too!

    We would also love to hear from you and see your pictures on social media; Tweet us at @TSB using #TSBgiftmas.


    Peter Navin

    *Branches where Giftmas trees will be located.

    BranchBranch Address
    Bath10 Quiet Street, BA1 1JU
    Bedford65 Midland Road, MK40 1PR
    Birmingham13 Temple Street, B2 5BN
    Bristol Broadmead36-38 Merchant Street, BS1 1YG
    Bromley58 High Street, BR1 1EG
    Cardiff2-3 Working Street, CF10 1GN
    Cheltenham153 High Street, GL50 1DQ
    Coventry15 High Street, CV1 5RD
    CrawleyThe Pavillion, Queens Square, RH10 1DE
    Hammersmith9 King Street, W6 9HR
    Ilford82 High Road, IG1 1 DL
    Kingston Upon Thames82a Eden Street, KT1 1DJ
    Maidstone16 High Street, ME14 1HT
    Norwich9 Guidlhall Hill, NR2 1SN
    Plymouth162 Armada Way, PL1 1LB
    Reading200 Broad Street, RG1 7QJ
    Romford3 Stewards Walk, RM1 3RJ
    Solihull58 Poplar Road, B91 3AB
    Taunton34 North Street, TA1 1LT
    Watford40 High Street, WD17 2BS

    Need #MortgageHelp? Ask TSB your questions from today on Twitter

    Posted on 24 November 2014 by Ian Ramsden, Mortgage Director

    I'm always keen to find more ways to support our customers; that's why this week I'll be taking part in a live mortgage Q&A on Twitter along with John Fitzsimons, editor of lovemoney.com .

    So if you're thinking about moving home, saving to get on the property ladder, or simply interested in how mortgages work, send a question on Twitter to @TSB and/or @lovemoney_com with the hashtag #MortgageHelp from today and we'll post our answers on Thursday this week between 11:30 and 13:00.  We'll also answer questions received live during the Q&A.

    Remember, mortgages don't need to be confusing.  Regular readers of the blog may remember I took part in our first mortgage Q&A in July; it was great to help so many people with their questions and talking directly to them. 

    We've got some mortgage guides available if you'd like to take a look at those first.  Otherwise, I hope to hear from you soon on Twitter.  I'll also make sure a summary of the Q&A is posted onto this blog afterwards.



    Ian Ramsden Updated


    You’re Hired! TSB takes on up to 40 apprentices

    Posted on 30 October 2014 by Rachel Lock, HR Director

    Lord Sugar isn't the only person busy hiring an apprentice at the moment. In fact, my team and I have been working on an apprenticeship programme of our own; over the next couple of months, up to 40 school and college leavers will join TSB on a 12-month intensive on-the-job training programme.

    We know going to university isn't for everyone or even necessary for every job available at TSB. That is why we have launched this programme to help young jobseekers and secure the best people for TSB.

    What will our apprentices do?

    Our apprentices will be based in seven locations across Britain 1 in either a customer operations role or working in one of our 631 branches. They'll follow a tailored programme, giving them the chance to learn from our existing Partners whilst having the opportunity to develop their skills and acquire new ones.

    The customer-facing nature of the apprenticeship roles is intentional; we're working really hard on providing great customer service and this starts from our frontline Partners.

    Our apprentices will have an opportunity to gain a new qualification.

    I am passionate about personal development, so all of our apprentices will have a chance to complete a 'Level 3 Award in Providing Financial Services' qualification.

    The benefits of this are twofold. For our apprentices, the qualification will help them in their day job, as well as enhance their employability in the future. While for TSB, the confidence of our apprentices will grow, which should lead to better customer service and performance over time.

    Looking to the future is central to our apprenticeship programme; by setting young people on the right path now, they'll flourish in the future.

    And, I'm delighted that the important role Apprenticeship schemes, such as ours, play in society and local economies across Britain has been recognised by Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg .

    "Good quality apprenticeships are key to building a stronger economy, and a perfect first step on the career ladder for young people, spreading opportunities to create a fairer society. Schemes like TSB's help create a highly skilled and motivated workforce, bring fresh talent to business, and reward ambitious young people with a fascinating career.

    "Around half a million people a year take the chance to learn whilst they work, allowing employers to train up a workforce and compete internationally."

    (The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg)

    The success of our apprentices is important and will help TSB succeed.

    TSB's raison d'être is to bring more competition to UK banking and to provide customers with more choice - and we do this by bringing local banking to Britain. There are already a number examples of how we are delivering this, such as scrapping costly 0845 phone numbers, launching our new Classic Plus bank account and offering to pay customers' stamp duty and council tax.

    Importantly, when it comes to setting ourselves apart by offering the best customer service we can, we are now seeing independent recognition of how we're differentiating ourselves from other banks. For example, in a recent survey by Which? Magazine, TSB was the only high street bank to be ranked in the top quartile for providing the best customer service against UK brands. We have great people working for TSB and our apprenticeship programme is here to reinforce that, and to ensure we continue to invest in our workforce.

    Finally, I'd like to wish our new apprentices good luck in their new roles. I'm really excited to have them join TSB and I'll be keeping a close eye on their progress!

    1 Barnwood, Sunderland, Swansea, Edinburgh, Central Scotland, Glasgow and Sheldon.

    TSB’s new website promises to make it easier for customers

    Posted on 23 September 2014 by Lorraine Donington, Head of Digital User Experience

    Having an online shop window is crucial and a must-have for TSB. We also know that more and more of our customers are using mobile and tablet devices to do their financial research online. That's why we've recently completely overhauled www.tsb.co.uk - the TSB main website - to make it easier and better for everyone to use.

    What are the main changes?

    We believe we should be accessible in whichever way people want to do business with us, whether that's through our 631-strong branch network, on the phone or on the Internet.

    These days, more than 40 per cent of traffic for a typical website now comes via a smart phone or tablet rather than a PC, which is why our new website now works seamlessly whichever way you visit the page.


    We've also made numerous improvements to the user interface, and ensured that the website now has a modern look, coupled with more features. For example, we've made sure the new branch locator - one of the most popular tools for our customers - can automatically locate your closest branch, give you directions, provide a local rate 0345 phone number and show you the opening times.

    These enhancements result in making it easier for people to find the information they need without any of the fuss.

    Thank you

    I'd like to thank all the customers who gave us so much feedback about our old website, and who took part in our many hours of usability testing for the new one. Without their help, we would not have been able to create something that makes things easier for customers, as well as reflects the TSB brand.

    Further feedback

    Our work doesn't stop here. We will be constantly updating and improving the website to bring customers the things they find helpful. And, as with anything new, it's really important we hear your thoughts early on so we can improve anything you're unsure of. If you have any comments to make - good or bad - let us know at this short five-minute survey . Thanks in advance!

    Working with Foolproof

    Finally, I'd like to say thanks to user experience design company, Foolproof, who've worked tirelessly with us and our creative agency, Joint, on the design and usability testing for the new website. Here are a few words from Peter Ballard, Foolproof's co-founder:

    "In designing the digital experience for TSB customers, Foolproof's challenge was to balance the need to have a site that was visibly different from other banks, whilst at the same time providing a simple, intuitive and very usable customer experience across all devices.

    "What has been created is a website experience that will support the needs of TSB customers and reflect its status as Britain's challenger bank."

    After a successful first year, what's next for TSB?

    Posted on 9 September 2014 by Paul Pester, CEO

    Today marks the first anniversary of TSB Bank's return to Britain's high streets - and what a year it has been! It feels like only yesterday that I was at our newly opened Baker Street London branch, welcoming TSB customers for the first time and explaining what we mean by "local banking".

    When I look back at what we were setting out to achieve in building and launching TSB, I'm absolutely clear that our "reason for being" is to bring more competition to UK banking. We're focussed on delivering a different sort of banking for Britain that's better for everybody and - one year on - I am proud to say we have remained true to this ambition.

    My personal highlights

    It's been a busy year. I've always believed that actions speak louder than words, and so whilst most banks are keen to talk about putting customers first, we've been busy taking clear action to do just that, and to make TSB a different sort of bank.

    Some of my highlights include throwing down the gauntlet with a new market-leading bank account , supporting thousands of mortgage borrowers by paying their stamp duty for them, making it easier for people to get in touch with us by getting rid of high-rate 0845 telephone numbers and replacing them with local rate 0345 numbers , launching our new and improved TSB.co.uk site to help people get the information they're after more easily, and starting to refurbish our branches and enlarge our ATM network.

    On top of all of this, we also successfully listed on the London Stock Exchange - a key part in the process of separating from Lloyds Banking Group. At the same time, we made every one of our 8,600 employees Partners in our bank. It's important to me that each of us - as part owners of TSB - is absolutely clear that doing our best for our customers is key in growing a successful TSB.

    What's next?

    Whilst I'm delighted with what we have achieved in our first year, we won't stop there. My team and I continue to work on what "a different sort of bank" looks and feels like, and what we need to do to deliver this. We'll continue to invest in the things that bring our ambition to life - always making sure we stay true to our values and act in the best interest of our customers.

    I'm passionate about making TSB as convenient and simple for customers to deal with as we can.

    That's why we're planning to invest £250 million over the next five years to make banking with us even better - by doing things like opening some more branches, refurbishing others and improving further our market-leading online and mobile banking services.

    Lots of people still prefer to make big decisions about their financial future in branches rather than over the phone or online. So unlike some competitors who are closing branches, we're planning to open new ones in selected locations to increase the number of people who can easily access a TSB branch. We're also looking at opening hours for branches and for our contact centres, to make sure customers are able to speak with TSB at a time that suits them.

    But of course more and more people are choosing to do their banking online, and we want our customers to have the best of both worlds. So now that we've launched our new website, our digital team is working hard on continuing to improve and widen the range of services we offer customers digitally - making it easier for people to apply for new products and services and to make the most of the products they already hold.

    Looking forward

    So our first year back on Britain's high streets has been an exciting time for TSB.

    But there's a lot more to come as we continue to work on delivering a different sort of banking for Britain.

    As I've said before - I love to hear from you and to know what's important to you so please do get in touch. As usual, you can follow and contact me on Twitter ( @PaulPester ).

    We're learning from our customer complaints

    Posted on 28 August 2014 by Helen Rose, Chief Operating Officer

    Let's start with the numbers. In the first six months of 2014, TSB received 10,826 reportable complaints - 9,798 of which were banking complaints - this equates to 1.3 complaints per 1,000 banking accounts.

    With nearly five million customers and around 850,000 transactions processed each day, things, do unfortunately, go wrong sometimes. But it's how we manage our complaints and respond to the feedback that we receive that we feel sets us apart. We're grateful to our customers for giving us their feedback. We would like to thank people for taking the time to talk to us as it's through these conversations that we can improve our customer service.

    We monitor and track every complaint we receive to understand what issues our customers are facing and do all we can to improve our service. This is another reason why we have posted our complaints data onto our customer hub - Truth and Banking - rather than bury our figures on our main website. Truth and Banking is where we 'lift the bonnet' on all things TSB and why I am taking the time to explain what our complaints are telling us.

    We've already made changes as a result of the complaints we have received . For example, just a few of the improvements we have made so far include:

    • Scrapping all of our 0845 numbers
    • Making our mortgage redemption statements clearer
    • Introducing an automated service so people can let us know when they're planning on using their card abroad so they don't have any issues when paying for things on holiday.

    It would be very easy for me to say I'm going to reduce the number of complaints we receive - and whilst I hope none of our customers will need to complain, I know that's not realistic. But what is realistic is learning from our customers' feedback. We're improving to create a TSB that our customers want and indeed demand of us.

    We also acknowledge it's been a unique and eventful year for many of our customers as they transitioned from Lloyds to TSB and we accept there have been some issues along the way. I am, however, confident that we approach customer service and complaints handling proactively and constructively.

    When a customer has a problem, they don't want to wait for ages, they want a speedy resolution. So we look to resolve complaints as soon as we can - indeed, 83% are handled within 48 hours of receipt and we're constantly looking to improve on this. For example, in May we launched a new training programme for our call centre staff which helped contribute to a reduction in the complaints we receive about payments.

    But my team and I are determined to tackle our complaints head on: we've not yet been on the high street a year and we know there are things we can improve, but I firmly believe we're on the right path to deliver the best experience that we can to our customers.

    For more information on our complaints data, please visit the Truth and Banking Hub .



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