Starling Bank Plans Asian Expansion

Top UK-based digital bank, Starling Bank, is looking to expand its footprint beyond the borders of the UK, according to a report. Starling is preparing to launch operations in Asia, but apparently not with its own brand but by partnering with an Asian bank that will utilize Starlings Banking as a Service (BaaS) platform labeled Engine.

Speaking with CNBC, Starling Chief Commercial Officer, Nick Drewett, explained their intent to power SME accounts as opposed to individual banking services.

Engine has the ability to power the full stack of banking services, including loans, checking accounts, etc. Starling apparently intends to license its technology to lenders allowing them to launch a digital bank brand. Drewett did not mention any potential banking partners by name but said they recognize the relationship will be a “long-term partnership.” At the same time, it was not revealed in which country Starling may kick off services, but one would expect an office in Singapore which is the top Asian Fintech hub.

Starling Bank was founded by a former traditional bank executive – Anne Boden, who helped to trailblaze the digital banking sector in the UK. While she recently stepped away from the CEO role, she piloted the digital bank to become one of the most successful digital banks in the country, leveraging an interesting marketplace strategy where users could select from a good number of 3rd party providers on the banking platform to pick and choose the integrations they found useful.

Engine by Starling aims to power the banks of the future, pointing to its proven success as the reason why Fintechs should select their product

This past May, Starling reported a 6X improvement in their pre-tax profit that increased to £195 million for the year ending March 31, 2023. Deposits are now over £10 billion. Starling Bank has previously indicated its interest in listing shares on an exchange. At one point, some were expecting it to happen in 2023. While the IPO date may be pushed back, it remains in the future of the Fintech.


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