Anne Boden sets sights on Starling IPO within the next few years

By Aisling Finn on Wednesday 27 May 2020

Digital Banking

Starling’s CEO spoke about profitability and the delay coronavirus is causing to the challenger bank’s plans.

Anne Boden sets sights on Starling IPO within the next few years
Image source: Anne Boden/Starling

Earlier reports of a Starling Bank IPO as soon as 2022 might be on hold, as CEO and founder Anne Boden cautioned at the AltFi Digital Summit that an IPO is still a possibility “eventually.”

"Is a listing in our sights? It's probably not going to happen this year or maybe next year, but I do think it's going to happen in the longer term.”

“I’ve always said I didn’t start a bank to sell out to the big boys, so there will probably be an IPO for us eventually,” she added.

Boden also told Wired this week that while Starling had said it planned to reach profitability in 2020, this timeline has now been pushed back to 2021, with a subsequent delay to any IPO.

At the AltFi Digital Summit, Boden also mentioned that Starling had made the decision to postpone its long-awaited European licence “for three to four months.”

The veteran banker told AltFi that Starling “is going to be where we were planning to be but just six to nine months behind,” but despite this “other areas have rapidly expanded.”

Digital bank Starling has been one of the most visible lenders under the government-backed loan schemes aimed at protecting the UK’s SMEs and has also launched several products to help its customers feeling the coronavirus-related pinch.

“We’ve embraced the new normal,” Boden said of Starling’s constant rolling out of new products and coronavirus related launches.

Starling has dished out over £363m in Bounce Back loans to SMEs according to its CEO, despite only opening applications on 11 May 2020, contributing to the over £14bn lent out by lenders across the UK in total.

The challenger bank has faced some hurdles in its path following a huge surge in demand for its government-backed loans.

To tackle the rising number of applications, Starling stopped accepting new sole trader business accounts due to “record demand.”

Starling also recently provided fellow fintech Funding Circle with a £300m pot to help the alternative lender to dish out more funds to the UK’s SMEs.

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