How could the TSB chaos have affected contractors and freelancers?
Spoiler alert: the answer is ‘significantly’.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave on Mars for the last week-and-a-bit, you can’t have failed to hear about the ongoing chaos at TSB as they attempted to migrate customer records from their old Lloyds TSB system to their new one.
If you’re not a TSB customer or an IT contractor, you may well have only given the story a fleeting glance. If so, you can bring yourself up to speed with the BBC’s timeline of events. Otherwise, all you really need to know is that all did not go as planned.
There have been numerous problems including customers not having access to their accounts online, over the phone or in-branch, payments in and out of accounts not going through, and people being able to access accounts that were not their own.
This, of course, would be bad enough if the problem had been fixed right away, but it’s now entering its second week, despite experts from IBM being called in to handle the issue which is, according to sources quoted by the BBC, ‘going from bad to worse’.
So how is this omnishambles affecting contractors and freelancers?
Late payments on invoices
If you or your client banks with TSB and payments on invoices are due, there’s a good chance you’ve not received them. If your client banks with TSB, then this is likely to be because the payment is not going through (despite their best efforts.) If you bank with TSB, you may have been paid, but you’ll have no way of knowing until you have proper access to your account again.
This can be a massive problem for contractors and freelancers, where a late payment can be the difference between being able to pay your mortgage or going into arrears. If you’ve found yourself affected in this way, make sure you speak to your client as well as your mortgage provider / landlord / utilities providers to explain the situation as soon as you can.
Unable to make payments
Like everyone else, contractors and freelancers have bills to pay and business costs to cover. Your contractor insurance premiums may be due, or perhaps your subscription fee to a professional body you belong to is coming up. You may even owe payment to someone you’ve outsourced work to.
However, if you’re currently caught up in the TSB chaos, you may find you can’t make the payments. This could be an issue if you need insurance in place before starting a contract or need accreditation from a professional body in order to work full stop. You also don’t want to leave any subcontractors unpaid as all contractors and freelancers know how difficult this can be.
If you’re a contractor or freelancer caught up in this ongoing saga, take care to ensure you’re protected from the fallout by speaking to anyone currently waiting for payment from you. Often ways can be found to make the payments at a later date without incurring charges.