Starling Bank gears up to buy lending business in a bid to fuel growth ahead of stock market flotation
- The digital bank is backed by large firms including Fidelity and Goldman Sachs
- It’s on the hunt for firms ranging from small lenders to mortgage providers
- CEO Anne Boden said: ‘We have deposit balances which we need to make work’
Starling Bank is gearing up to buy a lending business in an attempt to fuel growth ahead of a stock market flotation.
The digital bank – which is backed by large institutions including Fidelity and Goldman Sachs – is on the hunt for companies ranging from small business lenders to mortgage providers.
Anne Boden, founder and chief executive of Starling, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘We’re looking for a new lending business. We’re out there looking for one or more lending platforms. We have deposit balances which we need to make work for us.’
Anne Boden is the founder and chief executive of Starling
Starling launched in 2014 and is a branchless, app-based bank that provides digital services for its customers.
It has grown its customer deposit base to £8billion, while its loan book sits at about £3billion. Starling acquired Fleet Mortgages earlier this year for £50million in cash and shares, giving it a foothold in the buy-to-let market.
Boden said: ‘We’ve acquired Fleet. That’s been very successful. We’re likely to do one or more similar acquisitions in the same sort of model. We expect there’s going to be a lot of activity in the first half of next year.’
The bank, which turns a monthly profit, is eyeing a flotation as soon as the end of next year. Starling was valued at $1.5billion (£1.1billion) earlier this year. Boden hopes the flotation will take place in London.
She said: ‘Lots of financial technology businesses would find it difficult to float in London because they’re not profitable and they don’t have good governance.
‘But Starling is a bank, so we have a huge amount of governance and we’re very profitable.’