Starling founder Anne Boden relinquishes CEO role

Starling founder Anne Boden relinquishes CEO role

Anne Boden, the founder and public face of Starling Bank for almost a decade, is to step aside as CEO on 30 June and will remain on the Board as a non-executive director.

John Mountain, Starling’s COO, will take over as interim CEO while a global search for a new chief commences.

In many ways, Boden's time at the helm will be seen as an unqualified success having steered the fledgeling bank into profit ahead of most its challenger bank rivals.

The bank's latest figures for the year to March 2023 reveal a doublingg in revenue to £453 million and record pre-tax profits of £195 million, a six fold increase on the previous year’s figure of £32 million.

During the timeframe, customer deposits have increased 17% to £10.6 billion and total lending hit £4.9 billion, versus £3.3 billion previously.

Says Boden: “When I started Starling in 2014, I was told no one ever starts a bank, nobody wins market share and you’ll never make a profit. Today’s results prove them wrong.

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

The former Royal Bank of Scotland and Allied Irish Banks (AIB) executive,  holds a 4.9% stake in Starling.

Like most other startups, Starling has seen its valuation cut amidst the global downturn, with Jupiter recently offloading a six percent stake at a valuation of £1.5 billion, a significant billion pound discount to its valuation at an internal fundraise in April.

An outspoken figure, Boden has recently been engaged in a shouting match with Lord Agnew over claims that the bank inflated its balance sheet by dishing out Bounce Back loans secured by the Government without conducting adequate due diligence on loanee businesses. Over a third of Bounce Back loans approved by Starling Bank during the pandemic are at risk of default, the lender told the Public Accounts Committee in December.

David Sproul, chair of Starling Bank, says of Boden's departure: "We are confident that Starling is well-positioned for its next phase of growth and the bank’s relentless focus on our customers will not change."

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Comments: (3)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 25 May, 2023, 10:556 likes 6 likes

Massive respect for Anne Boden. Always loved her atypical fintech disruptor approach - no t-shirt, no ponytail, no techbro attitude - just solid experience from deep inside the operational side of banking, and a healthy focus on getting to profitability. 

David Gyori
David Gyori - BANKING REPORTS, LONDON - London 25 May, 2023, 17:25Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I deeply agree with the previous comment. + GREAT RESPECT TO ANNE BODEN! Great CEO, Great FOUNDER, Great BANKER! Well done! Very well done! 

Robin Setty
Robin Setty - ACI Worldwide (EMEA) Limited - Watford 26 May, 2023, 10:17Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Yes, she does buck the challenger bank hipster trend!