The challenger bank is eying further growth in its lending business following on
Startling Bank has seen an almost 500 per cent increase in customer accounts, according to Anne Boden, chief executive officer of the bank.
In a letter to shareholders published this week Boden says the challenger, app-only, bank has been on a mission to add momentum to its growth this year following a sustained period building out its technology and customer proposition last year.
The strategy appears to be paying off, following the launch of a slew of new products and services. In November 2017 it had just 43,000 personal current accounts. Now, just nine months later, it has over 210,000 current accounts - an increase of almost five times.
Boden says that customer engagement is also high with 60 per cent using their account every month.
”With an average deposit of around £900 in each of these accounts, we’re showing remarkably high balances when compared to our peers. The proportion of these customers making monthly direct debits has more than doubled year-on-year,” she said in the letter to shareholders this week.
“Since November, we’ve processed in excess of £1bn customer transactions and monthly transaction volumes now exceed £200 million a month. Deposits have increased exponentially and currently stand at more than £100m,” she added.
The firm has also increased its firm-wide headcount to 221, up from 125 in November 2017. Boden also notes that 40 per cent of employees are women, she said: “[It’s] a high proportion for the banking and technology sectors but still not high enough!”.
As reported on AlFi recently the bank recently launched its first loan product, an instantly-accessible, unsecured consumer loan of up to £5,000, carrying an annual interest rate of between 11 and 15 per cent which Boden says will be easily funded by swelling customer deposits.
“Our high and rapidly growing deposit balances mean we’re well-positioned to grow our profitable lending business...we are expecting double digit growth in customer numbers throughout the remainder of 2018.”
Since launching its business accounts five months ago the bank has also gained approximately 10,000 businesses customers with a 70:30 split between limited companies and sole traders, with average deposit balances of more than £6,000 and £900 respectively.
You can read the full letter here.