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Starling strikes deal with Direct Line Group to sell insurance

The digital bank launches Direct Line Group's Churchill brand on its marketplace to sell buildings and contents cover.

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Starling Bank and UK insurance giant Direct Line Group have teamed up to sell insurance products on the digital lender’s app.

The platform will sell buildings and contents cover through its Marketplace, which allows data to be shared securely with other organisations, giving customers access to a suite of financial products to help them manage their money.

Starling Bank, a personal and business lender, will sell Churchill products, a home insurance brand owned by Direct Line Group.

The partners will use Open Banking technology, which operates through the Payment Services Directive and application programming interface rules.

A change in European Union law at the start of the year has ushered in Open Banking, which means consumers can allow businesses, other than their bank, to access their financial data.

Advocates say this potentially allows customers to get better deals, such as cheaper overdrafts, and speed up switching between banks.

Starling competes against other UK  and European fintech banks such as Revolut,Monzo and N26.

‘Trusted brands’

Direct Line Group director of partnerships Rob Fleet said: “We recognise that the platform economy provides significant opportunities to streamline the insurance experience. Starling Bank is at the forefront of this movement and this partnership enables us to innovate as we continue to make insurance easier and better value for customers by providing seamless access to our insurance services through transactional application programming interfaces.”

Starling Bank chief executive Anne Boden added: “Churchill is a well-known and trusted brand and we are both committed to using technology to financially empower our customers.”

Starling’s marketplace covers a number of partners ranging from online mortgage broker Habito to accounting software firm FreeAgent.

The fintech, launched in 2014, has around 460,000 personal current accounts and 30,000 small business accounts, and said it expects to hit one million customers by the end of this year.

FTSE 100 group Direct Line Group, with a £4.5bn market value, owns a number of brands, including home and motor insurer Privilege and roadside rescue business Green Flag. It also sells life, travel, business and pet cover.

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