Boss of Goldman-backed digital bank Starling to step down next month

Starling Bank CEO Anne Boden.


  • On June 30, Anne Boden, the CEO and co-founder of the British digital bank Starling, will retire.
  • John Mountain, Starling’s chief operational officer, will take her place.
  • Boden expressed concern that her sizeable stake in the bank would result in a conflict of interest.

One of the biggest digital banks in the UK, Starling, said Thursday that its co-founder will be leaving his position as CEO at the end of the month.

One of the most well-known fintechs in the nation, Starling has 3.6 million users and is funded by the largest investment bank in the United States, Goldman Sachs.

An announcement in a press release states that Anne Boden will retire on June 30. John Mountain, the bank’s chief operational officer since 2015, who works for Starling, will take over from her.

“I have spent nearly a decade here as both the founder and CEO, a dual role which is unique in U.K. banking,” Boden said in a statement on Thursday. It has consumed my life, but I have enjoyed every second of it.

“It is obvious the duties and interests of a CEO and a significant shareholder eventually differ and demand different methods now that we have moved from being an aspirational competitor to an established bank. Separating my two positions is in the bank’s best interests as Starling develops and expands.

For the year ending March 31, 2023, Starling reported yearly revenue of £453 million ($600 million), more than doubling from 2022, and pre-tax profits of £195 million, a sixfold rise year over year.

The total amount lent increased to £4.9 billion from £3.3 billion. Deposits from customers rose 17% to £10.6 billion.

Boden, who co-founded Starling in 2014, transformed the business into a significant participant in the U.K. financial sector from a small banking competitor.

The frequently outspoken CEO has been a major proponent of the British government’s initiative to promote the country as a recognised fintech centre.

She is a well-known crypto sceptic as well as a vocal opponent of social media’s role in online fraud.

In a call with reporters on Thursday, Boden stated that her biggest concern in making the decision was the possibility that her sizeable stake in the company would lead to a conflict of interest.

Starling is 4% owned by Boden.

She said that she was the one who started the talk regarding her leaving, not the company’s board.

Goldman Sachs, Fidelity, and the Qatar Investment Authority are just a few of the investors who have helped Starling fund a total of £946.5 billion to date. Previously, the bank was valued at £2.5 billion.

The firm’s shares will not lose value from their previous price, according to Boden, who responded to a question on Thursday.

When asked how her intentions to step down may affect Starling’s route towards an IPO, Boden responded that the IPO market is presently closed and the company is not in a rush.

Top tech executives have frequently criticised the U.K. for its regulatory climate for tech listings; earlier last year, the CEO of Revolut declared he would never list in London.

According to Boden, Starling has not yet decided on a listing location for its potential initial public offering, but the U.K. is probably where it will make its debut.

Because of consumer adoration for a brand as strong as Starling, a U.K. listing would normally be the default circumstance.

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