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App-based Starling Bank doubles its Cardiff workforce

Digital bank is recruiting nearly 500 people, including data scientists and engineers, to its Cardiff operation

Following its successful launch and journey into profit, Starling Bank is doubling the workforce at one of its UK operations, including more engineers and data scientists.

The app-based digital bank has more than doubled its workforce at its operation in Cardiff to 868.

The Cardiff centre – the company’s biggest – has been core in developing new functionality for Starling’s app. These include Bills Manager, which helps customers pay bills on time, an app for its children’s banking service known as Kite, and the introduction of a personalised contactless limit feature.

Anne Boden, founder and CEO of Starling Bank, said the Welsh capital’s universities and fintech expertise has made the office there key to the company’s growth.  “Cardiff is a dynamic and entrepreneurial city with a rich talent pool,” she said.

Susanna Yallop, chief people officer at Starling Bank, said: “We’ll keep creating new roles in the region as we continue our mission to change banking for good. We’re always on the lookout for keen technologists and customer experience agents and hire based on attitude and aptitude.”

Starling now has more than 1,850 employees across its four offices in Cardiff, London, Southampton and Dublin.

The bank has been on a strong growth trajectory since launching in app stores in May 2017. The number of Starling accounts opened increased by 37% between April 2021 and April 2022 to reach nearly three million, with Wales, Yorkshire and Scotland seeing the biggest rises.

Starling continues to expand its lending, following its acquisition of specialist mortgage broker Fleet Mortgages last year. It recently announced plans to scale its banking-as-a-service and software-as-a-service propositions worldwide. In April 2022, the bank secured £131.5m in an internal investment round. The new investment values Starling at £2.5bn pre-money.

Read more about Starling Bank

  • Thousands of people are downloading Starling’s app every week as the bank builds its customer base.
  • Challenger bank Starling opens its API up to developers in hackathon at Google’s London Campus.
  • Starling Bank founder Anne Boden relates how her time with startups outside traditional banking convinced her to build a digital bank from scratch.
  • Starling Bank, which will offer smartphone-based current accounts, has been given a UK banking licence.

Vaughan Gething, economy minister in the Welsh parliament, said: “Starling Bank came to Wales because of the strength of our thriving fintech sector, which is delivering economic value and high-quality, rewarding job opportunities.

“Starling’s rapid growth in Cardiff is a testament to both its outstanding performance and to the talented workforce that is available in Wales to tech businesses looking to scale operations. I wish Starling Bank a long and successful future in Cardiff.”

Set up by former IT executive and digital banking pioneer Anne Boden, Starling received its banking licence in 2016 and launched the following year. In October 2020, it made its first monthly profit of £800,000, becoming the first UK digital challenger bank to do so.

The UK fintech unicorn has over two million customer accounts, including more than 300,000 small business accounts. Its total lending exceeds £2bn and it has more than £5.4bn deposited with it.

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