Digital challenger bank Starling loses its CTO

The CTO of digital bank Starling has left the company before it has even been granted a banking licence

The CTO of digital bank Starling has left the company before it has even been granted a banking licence.

According to the Financial Times, Tom Blomfield, who co-founded the venture, has left the firm.

The digital bank, which is one of a number of challenger banks, was set up by ex-Allied Irish Bank worker Anne Boden. It hoped to gain the first part of its banking licence in late spring 2015, before raising the capital needed and getting a full licence at the end of 2016.

Boden is aiming to change banking in the same way Amazon changed retail and Apple changed music.

In November 2014, she said while the music industry has been transformed by iTunes and retailing by Amazon, banking hasn't changed its approach in a long time.

“The same simple services traditionally offered in branches have just moved online and into apps. Empowered, tech-savvy consumers want and deserve more from their banks – they want easy, intelligent banking, not just mobile versions of paper statements," she said.

"The technology behind all the best internet platforms can be brought to banking, allowing us to create a digital banking service that’s truly personal to each customer." But the company will have to achieve this under new IT leadership.

Recent months have seen a spate of new banks granted licences, with others going through the process of getting approval.

This is significant when you consider when Metro Bank opened its doors in 2010 it was the first new company to be granted a banking licence in 150 years.

Challenger banks also include Atom Bank, Fidor Bank, Charter Court Financial Services, and Lintel Bank. Then there are technology companies such as Google and PayPal increasing their reach in financial services, through payments platforms and information enrichment.

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