Former AIB COO to launch UK digital bank

Former AIB COO to launch UK digital bank

The former chief operating officer of Allied Irish Bank, Anne Boden, is planning to launch a new digital-only bank in the UK next year, under the name Starling.

Boden introduced the concept at a British Bankers Association conference earlier this week, telling the audience that the new challenger bank would be more like Facebook or Google than a traditional high street bank.

"The music industry has been transformed by iTunes, retailing by Amazon, but banking hasn’t changed its approach in a long time," Boden told delegates. "The same simple services traditionally offered in branches have just moved online and into apps. Empowered, tech-savvy consumers want and deserve more from their banks, they want easy, intelligent banking, not just mobile versions of paper statements."

Boden will be moving into a market that is being progressively transformed by new mobile and online channels and pushed into reforms designed to encourage more competition from smaller challenger banks.

Starling will be comparable to Atom Bank, conceived by former Metro Bank chairman Anthony Thomson and ex-first direct CEO Mark Mullen, which is bidding to raise £20 million from private investors ahead of a planned launch next year.

Starling, which is backed by the digital marketing and advertising agency WPP, is planning to apply for its banking licence by 2015, before raising £100m in capital. Boden has already recruited a chief technology officer for the venure in the shape of Tom Bomfield, a co-founder of fintech startup GoCardless.

Comments: (1)

Steve Ellis
Steve Ellis - Finextra Research - London 21 November, 2014, 08:19Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The surprising part of this is the involvement of WPP. The ad networks are investing considerably in adtech, platforms, search and social media. I know these areas blur considerably but investing in a bank seems a big step beyond WPP's core business.

Then again, I can recall Saatchi & Saatchi making a bid for Midland Bank back in the day...