Starling flight plans rocked by executive departures

Starling flight plans rocked by executive departures

The future of digital challenger bank Starling is in the balance after the departure of four senior members of the leadership team and a break in talks with one of its prospective investors.

Starling Bank is the brainchild of former AIB chief operating officer Anne Boden. The smartphone-based startup is in the early stages of applying for a banking license and is looking to secure £100 million from investors to fund the launch.

However, the project is off to a rocky start following the departures of chief technology officer Tom Blomfield, CFO Gary Dolman, chief risk officer Paul Rippon, and customer experience expert Jason Bates.

According to a report in the FT, Dolman quit because of tension with Boden, and is now considering setting up a rival service with the other departed executives.

The smartphone startup has also been knocked by the withdrawal of key investor Route 66, which, according to the FT, took umbrage at Starling's plans to spend £1 million to pay consultants to help with the first stages of applying for a banking license.

Speaking to the FT, Boden insisted that the bank would continue on its chosen path.

“We are looking at the overall management structure, we are trying to figure out the best way forward, but Starling will continue,” she said. “We have made huge progress on our technology build and huge progress to preparing our regulatory submission. We are now in a situation where we need a different organisation with a different skill base.”

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