Anne Boden never planned to set up a bank, but after the 2008 financial crisis, she took it upon herself to do just that. As the founder and chief executive of Starling Bank, Boden is making that happen with her hugely successful app only bank.
“Following the banking crisis that caused so much distress to so many people, the banking industry tried to put things back together again the way they were before. I knew there was a possibility of a different and better way to provide banking services to customers. And I had to do it. I had to start a bank” says Boden.
To get Starling off the ground in 2014, Boden had to overcome widespread scepticism. However, she raised funding of £48 million, one of the largest investments ever seen for a UK initiative in technology.
Boden’s aim in creating Starling, was to remove the anxiety associated with day-to-day money management for her customers. She has created an app to give customers the digital tools they need to manage their money successfully. Now, Starling Bank employs more than 230 people, over 230,000 accounts have been opened. It has even been named Best British Bank and Best Current Account of 2018.
As a successful entrepreneur Boden understands the importance of collaboration and support when starting a business from scratch. As a result, Starling supports small businesses and start-ups; providing free business banking, connecting with its business customers, sharing their stories and offering advice.
To Boden, learning from customers and building the product around them is vital. “Only the market will tell you if your idea is a good one so don’t take too long thinking about it, just do it,” she says.