Starling seeks business banking lead, eyes major slice of RBS fund

By Ryan Weeks on Tuesday 24 April 2018

Editor's PickDigital Banking

A ‘top priority’ for whomever fills the position will be to win awards from the £425m RBS Remedies Fund.

Leading digital-only bank Starling is seeking a head of SME banking, who will report directly to CEO Anne Boden.

The banking challenger launched its business accounts in March this year, after first opening for registration last October. They function in much the same way as its consumer accounts, offering an app-only interface, rapid sign-up times and categorised monthly spending breakdowns. But business users can also use the app for other features, such as setting aside money for tax purposes using the ringfenced ‘Goals’ tool.

A key priority for the bank – and for the new recruit – will be to lay hands on a sizable portion of the RBS Remedies Fund, which is designed to help smaller banks and other financial services firms enhance their business banking offerings.

Starling boss Boden has previously argued that the caps on eligibility for the fund are currently far too high, with such players as Santander, Clydesdale and TSB possibly standing to benefit. For Boden, the awards – the largest of which will be £120m – ought to be reserved for true challengers to the incumbent business banking model.

The thrust of her argument is that even the largest award would have little impact on banks that have amassed tens of billions in assets over the years, as the aforementioned banks have. OakNorth, another fintech challenger bank, has agreed with Boden's position. 

This extract from the job description for the new head of SME banking role at Starling makes it clear that the bank has its eyes on nabbing one of the top prizes: “A top priority for the new Head of SME Banking will be to lead Starling’s bid for awards from the RBS Remedies Fund. The £425 million fund was created to boost competition in business banking and fulfil European state aid conditions arising from RBS’s £45 billion bailout during the financial crisis. We believe Starling has a compelling case for winning one of the biggest awards and are seeking an individual to lead the bid and build out the division to grow its market share.”


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