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Starling CEO Anne Boden agrees to step down from the role at the British neobank next month over ‘conflict of interest’ concerns.
According to reports, Starling Bank co-founder and CEO Anne Boden will step down at the end of next month. Chief operating officer John Mountain is replacing Boden at the helm of the British digital bank. The CFO has been with Starling since 2015.
Boden co-founded Starling in 2014 and grew the neobank’s profile and business visibility to become a leading UK financial player. The Starling CEO agreed to step down over concerns that her stake in the firm could create a conflict of interest. According to Boden, who owns 4% of the company, the initial decision to quit the CEO role was hers and not Starling’s board. In a statement released Thursday, the outgoing chief executive reflected on her time as leader of the digital bank and embraced the necessary shakeups. Boden wrote:
“I have spent almost a decade here as both the founder and CEO, a dual role which is unique in UK banking. It’s been all-consuming, and I’ve loved every minute of it. Now that we have grown from being an aspiring challenger to an established bank, it is clear the roles and priorities of a CEO and a large shareholder ultimately differ and require distinct approaches. As Starling continues to evolve and grow, separating my two roles is in the bank’s best interests.”
As Starling’s CEO, Boden has been pivotal in making the digital banking platform an established fintech hub under the British government. The outspoken chief executive is also staunchly critical of social media facilitating online fraud and remains skeptical of digital currencies.
Starling CEO Announced Plans to Step Down & Weighed in On Company’s IPO Outlook
On Thursday, Boden touched on Starling’s operability, prospects, and mass market appeal. The CEO opined that the neobank was in a strong position and capable of raising capital today without sustaining a share price decrease. On how her exit could impact Starling’s initial public offering (IPO) plans, Boden suggested the company would address those concerns when due. According to her, the IPO market is closed, and Starling is in no immediate rush to pursue a public listing. Boden further added that there was no decision regarding a listing venue, but Starling could likely list domestically.
Boden said although options are open, the decision on a listing venue may not be a food one at this time. However, she mentioned that since Starling is a UK bank that has found success in the, the “default situation” would be that the company lists in the UK.
Starling enjoys the backing of the US banking powerhouse Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and is one of the UK’s most prominent neobanks. The digital bank boasts a user base of 3.6 million customers and has raised a total of £946.5 billion to date from investors. Starling Bank’s last valuation in April 2022 was £2.5 billion.
The bank has its headquarters in London but operates offices in Southampton, Dublin, and Cardiff.