Thursday 22 February 2018

Boden's Starling swoops on Ireland

AIB executive Anne Boden
AIB executive Anne Boden
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Starling Bank, a UK-based financial startup headed by former AIB executive Anne Boden is targeting Ireland as its first cross-border market.

The bank, which engages and lends to customers entirely via their smartphones, has secured approval from its regulator, the Bank of England, to operate in Ireland under the EU's passporting arrangements, according to a statement on Monday. The bank won its original UK licence a year ago.

Ms Boden, an experienced banker, was chief operating officer at AIB after the crash, but left in 2014 to establish her digital-only "challenger" bank.

She's since been joined at Starling by Peter Rossitor - a Citibank veteran who was head of risk at both Anglo Irish Bank and later at AIB after the crash.

He later served as an adviser to the banking inquiry and is now Starling's chief risk officer.

"The Irish market is one I know well and it's also a great place to start a European international expansion plan," Ms Boden said in an interview.

"We are very aware of the implications of whatever happens from Brexit, and we have plans in place for whatever alternatives we need to make."

Starling Bank is among a growing number of new UK lenders to win licenses to take on Britain's handful of dominant big retail banks.

Starling will open to Irish customers and can make any changes required for Brexit within the next 18 months, Boden said.

Starling offers current accounts via mobile phones and lets other lenders and financial technology companies market services to its clients.

Irish Independent

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