Business Irish

Saturday 17 March 2018

Former AIB executive's digital bank could launch in Ireland

Anne Boden
Anne Boden

Paul O'Donoghue

The former chief operating officer of AIB, Anne Boden, is considering launching her new startup online-only bank here within the next three years.

Starling Bank is in the process of applying for a formal banking licence from UK regulators. The firm aims to have licencing in place by the end of the year and to launch at the start of 2016.

The branchless bank, which will be based in London, will deliver its services primarily through mobile device.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mrs Boden, pictured, said the bank would provide current accounts aimed mainly at those in the 18-35 age range.

She said it would "focus on the current account and the credit card and make sure that we can do a few things very well". Features include letting customers see how much they had spent on clothes or food each month, and enabling them to turn their bank card "on" and "off" with a tap of the screen.

She said the company "would like 100,000 customers in our first year, and then a million in the second". Mrs Boden said the bank would not launch an Irish operation simultaneously with its UK launch, however she added that the firm "has every intention of launching in Ireland soon".

"I know the Irish market very well and it is a country in which I have a lot of interest," she said.

"It wouldn't be in our first year but in our second year we will start to move across Europe and because of my interest in Ireland it will be very high on my list."

Mrs Boden, AIB's chief operating officer from 2012 to the end of 2013, said Starling has enough money to secure a bank licence. It is in talks with venture capitalists and private equity investors to get additional funding in place.

She said the company is looking to raise £100m over the next four to five years to help facilitate a rapid international expansion. The firm, which currently has six senior management figures, is set to employ as many as 150 people at the time of its launch.

Irish Independent

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