Starling Bank Discussion: Part 2

Here’s Anne’s annual investor letter for those who want to read the source:

(I’m looking forward to reading more into business performance)


They’ve also published their annual report so you’ve got a lot of business performance reading ahead of you :wink:

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Totally ignoring the woods for the trees, but I really like that website design and how the numbers are presented here.


I’ve already started!

Keen for your insightful views on the good, the bad and the ugly, too.

Agreed - it’s an incredibly well put together and designed web page and annual report :clap:


I do like Starling’s visual style. Oddly the app doesn’t do much for me, but I find the website calming, well designed and excellently presented.

By contrast, I found Monzo’s refresh a bit too shouty and busy. It’s the direct opposite to Starling though in that I really find the app redesign to be be largely uncluttered, relaxing and subtly powerful.


Some good figures.

Our year at a glance.

Before Tax

FY22: £32m


FY22: £216m


FY22: 9.3%

Average Revenue per
Active Customer

FY22: £125

Unit Contribution

FY22: £88

Gross Lending

FY22: £3.3bn

Loan-to-deposit Ratio

FY22: 36.4%

Total Accounts

FY22: 2.8m

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I always read them, and am always taken aback by her arrogance and how much she claims Starling led the way on various things, when in fact they just copied Monzo.


The FT article now says she stepped down to avoid a potential conflict of interest, and then goes on to cite other fintechs where the CEO with significant shareholdings did this prior to floating the company.

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She said they’re going public but not anytime soon.

Not doubting you but interested where they copied Monzo? Just having the same features doesn’t count because there are only so many permutations of features banks can have.


She would say that :laughing:


Probably IPOing in the U.K. then if that’s the case. Interesting.


Love the Starling design, particularly their website. I just don’t like their app. Which is why I never really used them much.


I quite like the app, it’s very clear and easy to use. I also find it very useful to use it on my iPad and on my computer.

I do wish they would get rid the circle/pie chart though. It doesn’t do much for me.

Some of their location and icons need improving but Monzo suffers from issues with that as well.


I’m keen for that, too.

Preferably as part of a step back and look at the whole app, a little like the the Monzo overview work. As a few of us have noted, they have good design but doesn’t really translate to the app as well as it could do, sadly.


Pulse is totally useless. The daily spend one I can deal, but the main one isn’t worthy as it doesn’t exclude transactions or reset on the date you set in Spending.

I’d be happy with some homepage overview type, showing balances from all 3 accounts (personal, additional and Joint). Happy to keep Spaces on their own part.


A former workmate that I’m still in touch with knows a software dev. at Starling via his partner and they claim to be working on a refreshed app.

Sorry, it’s a bit like “my sister’s friend’s husband’s dog” so take it with a pinch of salt, if you like…


I hope they don’t change too much :neutral_face:


Care to cite examples?


Spaces were copied from pots.

Bills manager which is quite recent, copied from Monzo.

Freeze your card (I think that was referenced in Anne’s letter), copied from Monzo.

Have you seen their luminous coloured cards? They used to be dull and purple, I wonder why they changed them :roll_eyes:

Looking at the first bullet point in her letter I think these are all Monzo’s innovations… but I could be wrong.

“In the space of six years, we’ve changed the face of banking across the industry, introducing innovations in the Starling app, from Spending Insights to Bills Manager and the Card Lock feature, that have been widely copied across the industry and some that have not (yet) been adopted by others, such as free Virtual Cards.”

Clearly all the Neobank largely have the same feature sets by now, so my point isn’t necessarily about the copying - they were always going to develop that functionality eventually. But her letters are so self serving, and she constantly makes out that Starling is this real trailblazer, which I wouldn’t really say it is. She wrote a book about how she changed banking for Christ sake.

Credit to Anne for what she’s built, but I find that sort of attitude really off putting. It just comes off that she has a huge chip on her shoulder.