The boss of Goldman-backed digital bank Starling will step down next month
Anne Boden, CEO of Starling Bank.
The co-founder of Starling, one of the UK’s largest digital banks, is expected to step down as CEO next month, the company announced on Thursday.
Starling, which is backed by the US investment banking giant Goldman Sachsis one of the largest fintechs in the country with a user base of 3.6 million customers.
Anne Boden is due to step down on June 30, according to a press release. She will hand over the reins to Starling’s chief operating officer, John Mountain, who has worked for the bank since 2015.
“I have spent almost a decade here as founder and CEO, a unique dual role in UK banking,” Boden said in a statement on Thursday. “It was exhausting and I loved every minute of it.”
“Now that we’ve evolved from an aspiring challenger to an established bank, it’s clear that the roles and priorities of a CEO and a major shareholder ultimately differ and require distinct approaches. As Starling continues to ‘evolve and grow, separating my two roles is in the interest of the bank.’
Starling reported annual revenue of £453m ($600m) for the year to March 31, 2023, more than double from 2022, with pre-tax profits of £195m sterling, a six-fold increase year on year.
Total loans were £4.9bn, down from £3.3bn. Customer deposits increased by 17% to £10.6 billion.
Boden, who co-founded Starling in 2014, has grown the startup from a small banking challenger to a major player in the UK financial scene.
The often outspoken CEO has been a key voice behind the UK government’s bid to turn it into an established fintech hub.
She is also a vocal critic of the role of social media in online fraud as well as a prominent crypto-skeptic.
In a call with reporters on Thursday, Boden said the main reason that prompted his decision was concern that his large stake in the company could create a conflict of interest.
Boden holds a 4% stake in Starling.
She added that it was herself, not the company’s board, who initiated the conversations about her departure.
Starling has raised a total of £946.5 billion to date from investors including Goldman Sachs, Fidelity and the Qatar Investment Authority. The bank was last valued at £2.5bn.
In response to a question from CNBC on Thursday, Boden said that if the company were to raise capital today, its stock value would not decline from its last share price.
When asked how his resignation plans could impact Starling’s path to an initial public offering, Boden said the IPO market is currently closed and the company is in no rush in the process. ‘immediate.
The UK has received a lot of criticism from top tech bosses over its tech listings environment – earlier this year the CEO of Revolut said it would never be listed in London.
Boden said Starling had yet to make a decision on a listing location for its possible public offering, but the UK was likely to be where it would debut.
“We have to keep our options open. Now is not the right time to make a decision on where to list, but we are a UK bank and a very successful UK bank,” Boden said.
“Customers love us and the default would be a UK listing due to consumer enthusiasm for such a powerful brand like Starling.”