The relaunch of the TSB brand following its split from Lloyds has been dubbed a return to ‘local banking’, with 631 branches nationwide now bearing livery not entirely dissimilar from that seen in TSB branches in the 1980s.
With 8,500 employees – whose collective experience totals an impressive 100,000 years – the statistics involved in TSB’s return from the dead are certainly impressive.
Over 4.6 million customers with a total of £20 billion in deposits and loans have had their accounts transferred to the revitalised TSB brand, which a spokesman says combines the best of old banking with the best of the modern era.
“TSB bucks the trend in banking,” says TSB chief executive Paul Pester. “We’ve gone back to the future by bringing back local banking to UK high streets, supported by 21st-century technology.”
Returning the standalone TSB brand to the high street has taken two years of planning, and follows the European Commission’s ruling in late 2009 that Lloyds TSB should be broken up to enhance UK banking competition.
However, not everyone is impressed with the ‘old banking’ approach employed by TSB since its relaunch.
In particular, critics were left nonplussed by the bank’s newly launched, but 1990s-looking website, complete with a jagged-edged jpeg-quality logo more suited to a mobile site.
But you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and only time will tell how well TSB is able to satisfy its customers in its 21st-century guise – and whether a return to local banking is relevant in an age when many people prefer to service their finances online from wherever they happen to be.