Anne Boden, founder of the profitable neobank Starling, will step down as CEO on June 30.
The bank has reported a record pre-tax profit of £195m for the 2022 financial year — a 6x increase on the £32.1m profit it posted for the 2021 financial year.
Speaking to the BBC, she said that COO John Mountain would take on the CEO role on a temporary basis until a permanent replacement was found.
Boden still owns 4.9% of the business, and will retain her seat on the board as a non-executive director.
She’s also hopeful that the business will list on the public markets. "It's not going to be this year, but eventually Starling will list," she told the BBC.
Starling is one of the largest of the UK’s online banks and lends to both retail and business customers. It was founded by Boden in 2014, and granted a UK banking licence in 2016.
Revenues at the bank more than doubled, to £453m from £216m, last year — in part thanks to the higher interest rate environment. Its net interest income increased to £348m — almost tripling on the year before.
It has also grown its customer base, up to 3.6m from 2.8m last year. Customer deposits have increased by 17%, to £10.6bn, while average revenue per active customer has grown from £125 to £203.
Lending has grown from £3.3bn to £4.9bn — a 48% increase, driven by the bank’s growing mortgage book.
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To date, Starling has raised $1.1bn, according to Dealroom. Some of its backers over the years have included Goldman Sachs and Jupiter Asset Management.
At its last raise in April 2022, it was valued at £2.5bn.
Boden said on Thursday that the bank is keeping half an eye on M&A opportunities. “We’re always monitoring what is out there on the market. We’re not planning to acquire in the next two months — but we will see beyond that.”
Calm in the neobank storm
Some of Starling’s neobank competitors are having a more turbulent time.
Fellow London-based digital bank Revolut has been waiting two years for its UK banking licence application to be approved — or declined. Sifted understands that publishing a clean set of 2022 financial results is central to Revolut’s licence approval process, which is ongoing.
Revolut recorded its first year of profit — of £39m — for the 2021 financial year.
Berlin-based neobank N26 is struggling with employee turnover and restrictions on growth imposed by the German financial regulator, making an IPO seem unlikely for the foreseeable future.
London-based Monzo reported a loss of £119m for the 2021 financial year, but saw record revenue growth in 2022, and told investors that it expects to reach profitability this year.