Anne Boden

The advent of Banking revolution that changed banking forever

Anne Boden
Anne Boden

Anne Boden had left UK’s top banks as she was disillusioned with the sector. The financial crash and emerging technologies presented vast opportunity for change, but change it would not, and Boden was increasingly frustrated and decided to do something radical and set up her own bank.

In her latest book Anne reveals how she defied the odds to realise her vision for the future of consumer banking and founded Starling Bank which won the Best British Bank at the British Bank Awards 2018 and started a tsunami movement in shaking up the entire banking system.

It was initially call “Bank Possible”, a challenge to Britain’s biggest lenders with a digital-only current account made for the smartphone generation. The founding team of the start-up bank, created last year by operating officer of Allied Irish Banks and Tom Blomfield, a financial technology entrepreneur, has broken up before it even obtained a licence, as Blomfield along with at least three of the senior management team departed.

Renamed Starling late last year, the lender is a new wave of “ challenger banks” that have sprung up as regulators and politicians attempt to promote competition in the UK’s banking sector.

The idea behind Starling was to offer a current account for smartphone users with features including letting customers see how much they spent on clothes or food each month so that they turn their bank card “on” or “off” with a tap of the screen. The bank had held talks to raise about £100m of which £4m would be used for the first stage of a formal regulatory application.

The fundraising fell apart after a key investor 66 Ventures, discovered Starling had earmarked at least £4m for consultants and advisers to help it with the approval process. The high fees were triggered by Starling’s decision to build new bespoke IT systems rather than buy software off the shelf –like other new banks such as Metro and Aton have done.

Ms Boden had previously worked at ABN Amro, AIB and Royal Bank of Scotland banker, met Mr Blomfiled at a dinner shortly after she left RBS in 2011.