Starling Bank chief executive Anne Boden said the challenger bank is now in a good position to buy another lender and has avoided the need for tech visas as there is already a lot of talent in the UK.
The challenger bank, which has funding partnerships with peer-to-peer lenders Funding Circle and Zopa, announced earlier today that it has received a £ 50million capital investment from Goldman Sachs.
Speaking at UK Fintech Week, Boden said the bank will likely buy a lending company because it now has the capacity to do so.
“We have client deposits worth £ 6bn and now have the ability to buy a loan business in order to get more loans into the economy so this is probably one of the next challenges for us, ”she said.
Boden also reacted to government reforms to the visa system, which were unveiled by Chancellor Rishi Sunak during UK Fintech Week. The new measures include a ‘larger scale’ visa flow allowing qualified people with a recognized UK-wide job offer to qualify for an expedited visa without third-party sponsorship or approval.
Boden said there is already a lot of talent on ‘our doorstep’ and Starling Bank operates this with offices in London, Southampton, Cardiff and Dublin.
“I think the fintech industry as a whole continues to talk about the need for visas,” she said.
“We never needed visas to import talent, we have great talent all over the country.
“We don’t need to be talking about visas, it’s about picking people up at our doorstep and bringing them to organizations like us and taking that commitment seriously.
“We continued to grow and hired around 400 people during the pandemic. The UK is a global fintech expert, we have great skills on our doorstep that we can really share. “
Starling Bank has been involved in government emergency lending programs, having deployed over £ 358million under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Program (CBILS) and just over £ 1 billion rebound loans in November 2020. It also funded £ 300 million in CBILS loans through The Circle platform funding.
“The next challenge for the future is to make sure that these companies survive and the first indicators are that more companies will survive and thrive than we thought a year ago, so I am very positive for the future. “said Boden.
“We are in a fantastic position in the UK, we have a thriving fintech industry and we are really proud to be part of an industry that does the right thing for its customers, be it trading retail or small and medium-sized businesses.
“We have a thriving industry in the UK and we need to support it and take it to the next level and I’m very happy to be a part of it. “