How Starling Bank is reinventing banking with PwC support

By Janet Brice
Digital bank Starling on course to radically transform business banking for customers in the UK as they partner with PwC...

A grant of £100m awarded to Starling Bank has allowed the digital start-up to work on its ambitious plans to disrupt the small business market alongside its partner Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC)

Consultants PwC outline their work partnering Starling Bank from the beginning of the journey in a report entitled, Side by side with Starling Bank to reinvent banking.

Taking digital banking to new heights

PwC report that Starling Bank has achieved a new level of digital banking in only three years which is predicted to create nearly 400 new jobs, making more than £900m in lending to SMEs available, and achieving a UK market share of 6.7% by 2024.

According to the report, Starling Bank was founded on a single belief: the existing model of banking needed reinvention. Founder and CEO Anne Boden says her mission was to “change banking forever”.

The grant from UK’s Capability and Innovation Fund (CIF) allowed the bank to deliver a suite of 52 new products and services which is designed specifically to serve entrepreneurs, sole traders, micro-businesses and small enterprises.

“But developing a business offering required deep research to understand what innovative UK businesses wanted most, and where existing banks were failing to meet those needs. Building on that understanding, Starling Bank worked with us to not only make themselves eligible for but to defy the odds and secure a £100m grant,” reports PwC.

This has enabled Starling “to radically transform business banking for customers in the UK, disrupting the stronghold of Big Four banks... delivering a solution that helps financial innovators to coexist in a connected and collaborative banking ecosystem.”

Partnership to transform banking

Since the start, PwC has been Starling’s partner in its mission to transform banking and to prove wrong those sceptics who said, “You can’t do that.”

“The importance of good design in digital engagement with customers, the importance of that sort of lean start-up model where you’re in a continuous feedback loop with your customer, the product is never finished – those are all things I think that we’ve demonstrated through Starling that we get. It’s about, ‘What did you do?’ and ‘How did you do it?’” said Steve Davies, PwC United Kingdom.

Guided by the ‘Business, Experience, Technology’ (BXT) philosophy, PwC set out an ambitious timeline to deliver everything needed within a little over a year and went on to help them secure the grant.

“Many of the bank’s digital services proved especially beneficial after the arrival of COVID-19, as they enable customers to deposit cheques, apply for loans and seek professional banking advice without having to leave their home or business,” concluded Davie

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