One to One: Padraig Carton, customer service operations director, TSB


A new brand and the reason for its name, supporting local customers, businesses and communities, and asking oneself the same question every week

TSB recently set up the Whistletree brand to rehome its former Northern Rock mortgages. Why is it doing this now?

Whistletree has been purpose-built to provide the former Northern Rock customers who legally transferred to us on 18 July with a secure home for their mortgage or loan – with exactly the same benefits that they enjoyed previously while benefiting from Whistletree’s high level of customer service.

Supporting hardworking people and local communities across Britain is at the heart of what TSB was set up to do. Whistletree is a natural extension of this and we are delighted with how our first weeks have gone.

Why is now the time to launch this?

In November 2015 we announced an agreement to acquire around £3bn of former Northern Rock mortgages and loans from Cerberus Capital Management group. As you would expect, there was a period before the transfer of these customers could complete, so we worked hard to put everything in place so that when 27,000 homeowners transferred to Whistletree they would be disrupted as little as possible. It was very exciting to welcome them aboard.

Anecdotal feedback has shown that these customers are already feeling the benefit and increased service from being part of Whistletree.

Why has TSB chosen the name ‘Whistletree’?

The name is inspired by the blue tree and the whistling in our advert, which we know our customers love.

What else can brokers and borrowers expect from TSB this year?

TSB was built to bring more competition to UK banking and make banking better for all consumers, and we will be continuing with that mission. We have just published our results for the first half of the year, which showed that more people than ever are willing to recommend TSB, with 1,250 new customers a day joining us.

Brokers and customers will continue to benefit from our customer service, helping more people to borrow well, and we expect to continue to grow in a responsible and sustainable manner.

As a child, what was your dream job?

A historian. I love history and, when I have the opportunity to read, that tends to be my genre of choice. I truly believe that if we learned from the past the world would be a better place.

Do you have any secret talents?

I love to bake. My son and I love to create weird-and-wonderful cakes for special occasions. Not sure how they taste but they look good

What are your hobbies?

All types of sport, but these days it is less participation and more armchair viewing. My Mum used to say I would happily watch two ants running up a wall.

What is the best advice you have received?

At the end of the week, look in the mirror and ask yourself: ‘Did you earn your wage this week?’

Who is your all-time hero, and why?

Nelson Mandela. He had the drive and self-belief to make things change, regardless of what that meant for him personally. He acted with restraint and dignity despite what he had endured, and carried on the fight to succeed, not just for himself but for mankind. He was incredible.

If you were not in your current role, what would you like to be doing?

I would love to be a sports commentator, combining two of my passions: sport and talking.

What is the toughest decision you have ever had to make?

We make tough decisions daily in business but, on a personal note, I had to leave a dream job about 15 years ago for family reasons. It was the right decision for my family and me but that did not make it any easier.

If you were Chancellor for a day, what would you do?

Find the money to build more affordable housing.


Year established: The savings bank movement began on 10 May 1810 but TSB was relaunched on Britain’s high streets in September 2013.
Headcount: Around 8,300 UK partners
Address: Registered office
Henry Duncan House, Edinburgh
Tel: 03459 758 758

TSB was born from the savings bank movement, established by Dr Rev Henry Duncan in a tiny parish in Scotland. Today’s TSB was built to bring more competition to British banking – to be a challenger to the big banks and deliver the kind of banking that people want. TSB serves only local customers and local businesses, to help fuel local economies.