Welcome back to TSB, Now sort out a winning digital strategy

It is early days but from a press and PR perspective, the re-birth of the TSB brand has been something of a triumph. The message that TSB is back and will be a High Street bank not a Wall Street bank has been executed neatly, argues Douglas Blakey

It is early days but from a press and PR perspective, the re-birth of the TSB brand has been something of a triumph. The message that TSB is back and will be a High Street bank not a Wall Street bank has been executed neatly, argues Douglas Blakey

And with a marketing campaign budget of £30m, the re-birth of TSB has certainly been well funded. The TSB campaign is backed with the ad tagline "Welcome back to local banking."Here, TSB is on weaker ground. Management at the new TSB has talked of championing its branch network. The jury is out on just how successful a policy will be.

A network of 632 branches does indeed stretch from the south west of England to the north of Scotland but with a network of such a limited size, there are parts of the UK where the TSB presence on the ground will be limited. Accordingly, it is essential that TSB gets its digital banking proposition right.

Here, it has much to do. The new TSB launched today minus any form of mobile banking app. Its website states that mobile banking apps will launch soon on Apple’s App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store and BlackBerry App World. Until then, the only form of m-banking on offer is a less than state-of-the art-service via mobile browser. The TSB website at launch is a mirror image of the website customers will have been familiar with as customers of Lloyds TSB. Unfortunately, both the TSB and Lloyds websites crashed this morning.

It was almost inevitable that there might be some IT glitches this morning, making the wildly optimistic prediction last week of Lloyds’ António Horta-Osório of a "seamless" transition as TSB was re-launched seem even more imprudent. The old TSB enjoyed something of a reputation for innovation. Unless my memory is playing tricks, it was the first bank to launch telephone banking many moons ago. It needs to re-discover innovation in terms of its product and channel strategy and investment in the best possible digital banking proposition would be a good start.

Do you think the new TSB is going to be a winner? What do you think?