Starling Bank – leading the way of future banking
Monday March 16th, 2020
When something is broken – you can either walk away, pass the problem to someone else or you can try to fix it. That latter is exactly what Anne Boden, CEO and founder of Starling Bank, did.
Following years of working in the banking industry, the financial crisis and changes in banking and technology – Anne saw an opportunity. She was going to disrupt the modern-day banking system and give control back to the customer with a new banking model.
Anne said, “One of the bravest things I’ve ever done was mutter the words, I am going to start a bank. I was setting out to do something that has never been done before, but we all must remember that we never know if we are going to succeed unless we start.”
The birth of starling
Born and raised in Swansea, Anne Boden graduated from Swansea University with a computer science and chemistry degree. She started her career in banking at Lloyds Bank before she joined Standard Chartered and UBS and became Head of EMEA, Global Transaction Banking across 34 countries.
“After years of working in banking I felt that the banking system was broken and needed to be fixed. It had lost its way. Banks were spending too much time worrying about themselves, lost sight of the customer focus and weren’t embracing how people were using money – they were just the same old boring banks”, Anne said.
When Anne started her incredible journey to set up Starling Bank, she wanted to do it with the mission to fix the industry, adopt technology to transform the banking experience and give customers a modern and decent service. What was the reaction?
“People thought I was crazy; people don’t just start banks. I had to knock on doors and raise the money myself”, said Anne.
At the heart of it all
Starling resonates with customers; their customer base has grown to more than 1.3million and they have recently announced a new business account.
But what makes Starling resonate with its customers? At the heart of Starling is an overarching core value – ‘doing the right things for the right reason’. Giving the customer an agile, responsive service and allowing them to take control of their money.
For the 250 employees based in Southampton it is about equality, opportunity and rewarding them for their commitment and passion. Starling has just announced that all Starling employees are to be given shares in the businesses.
Six years on Starling is now an award-winning mobile-only bank with over 900 employees across three locations, Southampton, London and Cardiff.
Nest of Southampton
‘’Southampton is perfect for Starling Bank. It represents a combination of things that make sense for us, as a business and individuals. Its transport links and location, the universities and how convenient it is. It has all the magical elements you need to make it a great place.
“Watching the cruise and container ships and the ferries on the water is extraordinary; it allows you to connect, not just with the leisure side of the city, but the industrial side too. It feels very real and I understand it – it reminds me of my hometown, Swansea. Commerce and industry mixed with the countryside. There is such a buzz here in Southampton and we are excited to be a part of it”, said Anne.
The Starling flock
Starling by name starling by nature? Noisy, sociable, entertaining – all characteristics of the bird and the Southampton Starling flock.
All 250 employees based in Southampton are incredibly passionate about joining Anne’s journey to change the way we bank.
Starling Advocate, Gurpreet Gill, joined the bank back in 2019. “I needed to be a part of what Anne was doing. I have followed her career and she has been a big inspiration to me, particularly her views on diversity, inclusion and gender balance”, Gurpreet said.
“Not only do I get to work in my hometown for a company that believes in people, but I also get to work with SMEs – supporting businesses through their highs and lows. As a company, we want to share our journey with fellow small businesses and allow them to grow with us. I feel a huge sense of pride and satisfaction working at Starling because of the community that has been created and what we stand for.” Gurpreet commented.
What does the future hold?
2020 will be another busy year for Anne and her team – office number four and expansion into Europe is in the pipeline.
Starling’s mission remains to be the best business bank in the world serving the needs of the small and medium-sized enterprises who are the lifeblood of the economy.
“As a company, we want to share our journey with fellow SME’s and allow them to grow with us.”, Anne commented.
If you would like to find out more about Starling Bank, visit starlingbank.com.