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Starling’s Boden expecting one million customers in 2019

The digital-only bank will launch a credit card amid another year of blistering growth.

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The boss of Starling Bank said she “expects” the digital-only business to hit a million customers in 2019 following a year of rapid growth.

The bank’s customer base jumped from 50,000 to over 400,000 last year, while staff numbers leapt from 130 to top 300 over the same period, said founder and chief executive Anne Boden writing on a company blog.

The former RBS executive said “we’re expecting to hit one million customers this year”, adding that the firm will also “launch a host of new products and features”.

Boden said the bank would launch its own credit card later this year and will expand its lending.

She also said the firm was in the middle of testing the launch of euro accounts for UK customers. Boden said around “3,500 customers have signed up to the waiting list for these accounts”, adding that “demand was high” for this service.

Last year the firm, set up in 2014, introduced a number of new services as a host of mobile banks fight for customers between themselves and established high street players.

Last August Starling launched its first banking-as-a-service partnership with deposit marketplace Raisin UK, an arm of a German fintech that plugs users into a wide range of savings products across Europe.

The new operation allows third parties to offer customised services such as retail banking payments and card issuing – without having to seek permission from UK regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA). This is because these firms can piggy-back off the banking licence Starling already has with the regulator.

In November, Starling gained a high street presence by striking a deal with the Post Office, allowing the banks customers to withdraw and deposit cash at any one of its 11,500 branches nationwide. The Post Office boasts more branches across the country than all of the UK’s banks and building societies combined.

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