FEATURE22 October 2020

High-flyer: Starling Bank CEO Anne Boden on pushing boundaries

x Sponsored content on Research Live and in Impact magazine is editorially independent.
Find out more about advertising and sponsorship.

Covid-19 Features Finance Impact Innovations Mobile People Technology UK

As founder and chief executive of Starling Bank, Anne Boden counts on listening to customers as the bank evolves. She talks about building a new type of bank with Jane Simms.

Anne Boden 2_crop

The starling is a sociable, adaptable, friendly and supportive bird. It also works as part of a team to make something as complex as a murmuration – a shifting, swooping wave of sometimes thousands of birds – look beautifully simple.

It explains why Anne Boden and her team chose the name Starling for the digital bank she established in 2014, but it is also not a bad descriptor of Boden herself – the diminutive Welsh woman with the wide smile who took on the big banks with a customer-focused offering based on 30 years’ close observation of what was wrong with the traditional industry.

We meet over Zoom, but her enthusiasm, warmth, integrity and determination to change things for the better shine through. Our conversation begins with her excitement about opening the Cardiff office (there were already offices in London and Southampton) just before lockdown. “Carol Vorderman [the TV personality] was coming to the opening ceremony, but we had to ...