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Starling stepping up as a ‘big player’, boasting big figures

Starling Bank CEO Anne Boden praised the bank’s expansion, in her annual letter to customers, and asked for more cryptocurrency regulation.

According to Boden, Starling Bank anticipates a profit increase of more than four times this year. In her letter, she stated that the bank expected December 2022 to bring in annualized pre-tax earnings of over £250 million and annualized revenue of approximately £600 million, with total deposits reaching $10.7 billion.

“We’re profitable, very well capitalised and have no need to raise money. It’s no accident that we have never sought a silly valuation, even when the prospect of one was dangled before us,” Boden wrote.

Boden highlighted the bank’s current position of holding an 8.9% share of the UK market for SME banking, and reflected on a year of tremendous development for the firm. 

The Starling family grows

With another 1,000 jobs planned for its new Manchester office, adding to its existing bases in London, Southampton, Cardiff and Dublin Starling saw a one-third increase in employee headcount to 2,300 in its first full year of profitability. 

The company also surpassed three million accounts, including 520,000 small business accounts, and – a highlight for Boden – launched free virtual cards.

Starling Bank’s loan portfolio increased to £4.7 billion this year, with more than £3.1 billion in its expanding residential and owner-occupied mortgage books, in addition to increases in both consumer and business account balances. 

Fleet, a buy-to-let mortgage company that Starling purchased in 2021 and which closed £1.2 billion worth of mortgages in 2022, contributed to this expansion.

Placing safer bets on crypto

Boden also reaffirmed her position on cryptocurrency in the letter, where she provided more details on her decision to outlaw the currency in November.

“One day crypto will be safe and highly regulated on an international basis with protection for consumers and businesses. And one day I can see the potential,” Boden wrote. “But, this is not where we are right now. Cryptocurrency does not now have a strong enough moral or practical purpose. I call for regulators to ensure that crypto exchanges are regulated to the same standards as other financial institutions: if they are not regulated, then they cannot continue to trade.”

While Starling Bank’s income may treble and its staff may increase by another 40% in 2023, it appears that it will be some time before the company shares its views on the cryptocurrency pivot.

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