This week, Starling Bank announced its accounts will now be available via desktop and laptop, in addition to its App on mobile devices. Starling Bank is now six years old, and this expansion to what is considered more traditional devices reflects a maturing of the bank as it seeks to broaden its customer base. We use this moment to take a look back on the development of Starling Bank so far and review its latest range of current accounts and business bank accounts.
Starling Bank was founded by Anne Boden in 2014 as a digital challenger to the existing large high street banks. In the past six years, Starling Bank has acquired 1.5 million customers including 155,000 business accounts and holds more than £3 billion in deposits. The bank bases its values on ‘saying no to rip-off fees’, not using jargon and offering modern banking features.
In 2020, Starling Bank raised £100 million in funding rounds, taking the total it has raised to £363 million since its launch. This year, the bank also launched business loans under the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
Starling Bank is a privately owned company and it is not listed on the stock exchange. Its largest shareholder is Harry McPike with a 60% stake in the bank. Anne Boden now holds just less than a quarter, with the remainder shared between current and former employees, an employee benefits trust and Merian Global Investors.
The Starling Bank Current Account must be opened using the Starling Bank App and can be operated both in-app or online. It has no monthly fees and there are no charges for electronic payments, money transfers in the UK and cash machine withdrawals. The interest rate is 0.05% AER up to balances of £85,000, while funds over this amount will not earn any interest. Those needing an overdraft could benefit from a three-month interest holiday on overdrafts of up to £500. This is only available for applications made up to 31 October 2020 and is part of the Starling Coronavirus Support Scheme. Acceptance for an overdraft is subject to eligibility. Outside of the interest holiday, the overdraft interest rate is 15% EAR, which means a £500 overdraft over seven days would cost you £1.35. The account also allows you to give a card connected to your account to a trusted person.
There is also a Starling Bank joint account with the same features and benefits.
Data provided by all the main UK banks, including Starling Bank, to the Financial Conduct Authority shows that Starling Bank opens all its current accounts on the same day, and a new or replacement debit card takes three days on average to arrive with customers. It has consistently been one of the best-performing banks for service since the banking service standards launched.
The Starling Bank Current Account has been awarded a Five Star Moneyfacts Star Rating for the past two years. The interest rates, product features, ease of opening and penalties on the Starling Bank Current Account are all reviewed to decide on this rating.
Find out more about five-star rated bank accounts.
This account allows consumers to send money in Euros to those in Europe. This account can hold, send and receive euros for free. Euros can be converted for a conversion fee of 0.4% within the Starling Bank app. A Mastercard debit card is also included.
This is a debit card for children up to the age of 16. The debit card is like a children’s bank account and can be managed through the Starling Bank app so adults can monitor spending. There is a £2 fee per month for the account, with no other charges for transfers, cash withdrawals or card payments.
The teen account is for 16 and 17-year olds. Again, this is powered by the Starling Bank app and supports the same features as the bank’s main current account (except there are no credit facilities). A debit Mastercard is included.
Starling Bank business current accounts are available to limited companies, sole traders and the self-employed. They have no fees and offer free UK bank transfers. The free business accounts are powered by the Starling Bank App and connect to Xero, QuickBooks and FreeAgent and there are instant payment notifications.
Businesses can upgrade to the ‘Add-on Business Toolkit’ for £7.00 (inc VAT) to add on features for bookkeeping, such as instant invoicing and auto-matching, automated expenses, bill uploading and payment scheduling.
Starling Bank also offers a business Euros account and US dollars account.
Find the best business bank accounts, rates and features on our charts and find out more about the best accounting software for business in our guide.
The Staring Bank App powers all its accounts and it aims to make banking simple and easy for consumers. The main features include:
The App is now available to personal and business customers via a browser on their desktop or laptop. This is part of the bank responding to changing work habits and more of us spending time at home due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It also shows the maturing of the bank as it aims to broaden its appeal to a wider group of customers as possible.
Starling Bank founder and CEO Anne Boden, said: “Many customers told us they wanted to do their banking online as well as on their smartphones. By making accounts accessible on laptops and desktops, we’re giving them even more flexibility to bank the way that best suits them. As we’re all spending more time at home than usual, it’s important that our customers can manage their money from anywhere they wish at any time.”
Starling Bank is a UK authorised bank and is therefore regulated by both the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It offers personal accounts that are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000 per account holder. As it is a regulated bank, customers may also raise any complaints with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) too.
The Starling Bank App uses biometrics including facial and fingerprint recognition, video identification, a mandatory passcode and password to help keep the App and customers’ accounts and transactions secure.
Read more about the depositor protection scheme in our guide.
Starling Bank is headquartered in London and has offices in Cardiff, Southampton ad Dublin.
The bank has grown revenue from £12,800 in 2016 to £80 million in 2019/20.
Currently, the bank has 1.5 million customers.
Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.