Former Lloyds executive cries foul over IT whistle blowing

Former head of business continuity at Lloyds Banking Group tells tribunal he was forced out because he blew whistle on flawed IT systems

The former head of business continuity at Lloyds Banking Group has told an employment tribunal that he was forced out of his job because he blew the whistle on flawed IT systems that left the bank, and even the UK economy, vulnerable.

According to reports, 51-year-old Stephen Clements, who is suing the bank for £1m, said the bank deliberately covered up the problems because it did not want to spend the £200m it would cost to fix.

In a submission to the Central London Employment Tribunal, Clements claimed that two-thirds of the bank's systems were not subject to resiliency tests, leaving "very serious gaps in our ability to recover critical IT systems".

The bank is having its fair share of IT troubles. Customers experienced ‘intermittent’ problems using cashpoints on December 31, which followed an outage in October, which left Lloyds customers unable to get money from ATMs or use online customer services.

Lloyds said: “We take the continuous provision of service to our customers very seriously.

“As this is the subject of an ongoing employment tribunal, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

The tribunal continues.

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As a past contractor at Lloyds I witnessed employees being actively encouraged to "Whistleblow" if they witnessed fraud but it appears this does not extend to dubious strategies. You have to ask what purpose the Risk department serve since they appear to be "asleep at the switch" as they were during the banking crisis. With all IT development and testing now outsourced to India at Lloyds(with the full collusion of the major shareholder - UK gov) the technical knowledge (and consequently the actual IT ownership) now resides outside these shores - the IT board are effectively sleeping partners. That represents a major risk to the banks and consequently the country. Let's hope this case shines a light on that perilous situation.