Starling Bank, the latest digitally-native mobile challenger bank to hit the UK, has been granted a banking license by the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority and is inviting prospective customers to sign up ahead of a formal launch in January 2017.
The bank is celebrating the announcement with unveiling of a new brand identity and Website and a promise to streamline the way consumers manage their money. The startup says it will use 'data-led insights' to give customers a clear picture of their entire financial situation from a single account and complement it with a range of tools for tracking spending and managing financial budgets.
Anne Boden, CEO, Starling Bank, says: “For the past year, our team has been focused on building our product and technology from the ground up. By 2020, the number of UK mobile banking users will double from 17.8 million to 32.6 million and our aim is to empower these people to better manage their finances with an incredible app, purpose-built for those who happily manage their lives on their phone.”
Starling has also committed to joining the Faster Payments scheme in the coming months, to offer real-time funds transfers for customer accounts. Boden claims it will be the first next-generation bank to connect directly to Faster Payments.
The putative bank - which has raised $70 million for the launch from a single investor - has not had a smooth gestation, with a number of senior executives jumping ship following disagreements over the strategic direction of the venture since it emerged in November 2014.