The head of the Goldman-backed digital bank Starling will step down next month

The head of the Goldman-backed digital bank Starling will step down next month
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Starling Bank CEO Anne Boden.

starling bank

The co-founder of Starling, one of the UK’s biggest digital banks, will step down as chief executive next month, the company said on Thursday.

Starling, which is backed by the US investment banking giant Goldman Sachsis one of the most prominent fintech companies in the country with a user base of 3.6 million clients.

Anne Boden will step down on June 30, according to a press release. She will hand the reins over to Starling’s COO John Mountain, who has been with the bank since 2015.

“I spent almost a decade here as founder and chief executive, a dual role that is unique in UK banking,” Boden said in a statement on Thursday. “I’ve been all-consuming and I’ve loved every minute of it.”

“Now that we’ve grown from an aspiring challenger to an established bank, it’s clear that the roles and priorities of a CEO and a large shareholder ultimately differ and require different approaches. As Starling continues to evolve and grow, separating my two roles is in the best interest of the bank.”

Starling reported annual revenue of £453 million ($600 million) for the year to March 31, 2023, more than double from 2022, with pre-tax earnings of £195 million, up six times year-on-year.

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Total borrowing stood at £4.9bn, up from £3.3bn. Customer deposits increased by 17% to £10.6bn.

Boden, who co-founded Starling in 2014, has taken the startup from a small challenger in banking to a major player on the UK financial scene.

The often outspoken CEO has been a key voice behind the UK government’s attempt to turn it into an established fintech hub.

She is also a staunch critic of the role of social media in online fraud, as well as a leading crypto-sceptic.

In a call with reporters on Thursday, Boden said the main thing that triggered his decision was concern that his significant involvement in the company could create a conflict of interest.

Boden owns a 4% stake in Starling.

She added that it was she herself, not the company’s board of directors, who initiated the talks about her departure.

Starling has raised a total of £946.5bn to date from investors including Goldman Sachs, Fidelity and the Qatar Investment Authority. The bank was last valued at £2.5bn.

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In response to a question from CNBC on Thursday, Boden said that if the company were to raise capital today, its shares would not decline in value from their last price.

When asked how his plans to step down may affect Starling’s path to an IPO, Boden said the IPO market is currently closed and the company is in no immediate rush.

The UK has come in for a lot of criticism from top tech bosses for its tech listing environment: Earlier this year, Revolut’s chief executive said it would never list in London.

Boden said Starling has yet to make a decision on a listing location for its eventual public offering, however the UK is likely to be where it debuts.

“We need to keep our options open. This is not the right time to make a decision on where to list, however we are a UK bank and a very successful UK bank,” Boden said.

“Customers love us and the default situation would be a UK listing due to consumer enthusiasm for a brand that is as powerful as Starling.”


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