UK Fintech Week: Goldman Sachs invests £50m in Starling Bank
Now with two million accounts and a deposit base of over £6bn, Starling is the UK’s first digital-only bank to reach profitability and is reportedly on-course to achieve a full profit by the end of its next financial year. Its position as one of the nation’s fastest growing and most successful startups has been noted by Goldman Sachs:
“Starling is one of the leading and most innovative digital banks in the UK, with an ambitious technology-first leadership team and addressing a deep market opportunity. We are delighted to be supporting their growth with this investment and believe the company has sustainable long-term earnings potential,” said James Hayward, MD.
Meanwhile, Anne Boden, Founder and CEO of Starling, believed that securing the global investment bank’s support “demonstrates the strength of demand from investors and represents yet another vote of confidence in Starling.
“Goldman Sachs will bring valuable insight as we continue with the expansion of lending in the UK, as well as our European expansion and anticipated M&A.”
Investing in the West Midlands
The West Midlands region of the country is gaining significant traction with major global FSIs, with Deutsche Bank and HSBC also recognising the potential and setting up headquarters there.
This break from the generally London-centric financial scene is an interesting development, and one apparently seeking to harness the area’s digital engineering skills, academic research capabilities, and well-established financial services sector.
“Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s most prestigious investment banking institutions, renowned for its laser-focus on recruiting the best and brightest talent and the pre-eminence of its data-driven, customer-centric technologies,” commented Neil Rami, CEO of the , which helped secure the investment.
“We are delighted that Goldman Sachs has chosen Birmingham as the home of its major new presence, where it will harness the region’s entrepreneurial talent to develop its mission-critical digital expertise, creating hundreds of jobs.”
Image source: Starling Bank
Frictionless banking, the Salesforce way
Alan Donnelly has enjoyed a long and successful career in the IT and financial services industry. He has worked with banks, insurers, payments companies, fintechs and more in support of business transformation programmes for some of the biggest names in the business for the past 27 years.
Today, he’s head of financial services for Salesforce UK, the leading global, cloud-based CRM platform that integrates customers and companies. Donnelly is also currently leading the Salesforce operation that is digitally transforming the UK arm of the Madrid-based Santander Group.
“I have had the pleasure of working with many financia
l institutions over many years,” he says. “Typically, it was involved in helping customers build big banking systems and banking platforms that ran what we would call systems of record. But now, as I've moved into Salesforce and we're building our financial services business, we are really now helping our customers engage with their customers.”
The partnership withSantander is a multi channel operation that sees Salesforce helping the bank to engage better with corporate clients and retail customers via their branches and the internet, says Donnelly.
“We're also helping them with customers, who maybe wish to acquire mortgages and mortgages for the life events. I guess it's a multi connectivity environment. But in every case, Santander needs to understand the customer's requirements and better serve those customers in the right time and the right fashion,” Donnelly explains
He adds, “I also think the ability to contact customers whenever they need help and support, as we've seen in the recent pandemic, has proven critical - so I think technology is definitely much more connectable and effective than it was before.”