Starling Discussion & Feedback

Can you give a source for this please?

As far as I can see, no financial institution passes negative rates onto ordinary savers in Europe (including countries not in the eurozone) and only high-net worth individuals are at risk of this in only a handful of banks.

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Pretty sure Starling is charging a negative interest rate on their Euro account for savings above £50k - is that right? I wouldn’t describe someone who has £50k as a ‘high net worth’ individual.

Even if we disagree on definitions, negative interest rates in Europe are impacting customers with even the smallest savings accounts: https://news.bitcoin.com/banks-negative-interest-rates-germany/

I’d argue Starling is an edge case, as it’s not within the eurozone and is one of the first UK banks to make holding euro as easy as opening a sterling current account.

Interesting you cite an article from a bitcoin publication. That article implicitly draws a link between the ECB’s negative interest rate policy and declining profitability in eurozone banks. The ECB itself draws the conclusion that its policy has a broadly neutral effect on profitability, and is as likely to stimulate as much as dampen it. (As reported by the FT here.)

It’s an interesting debate. However, I’d take argue your source doesn’t back up your claim that ordinary savers in the rest of Europe are being charged to keep their money in the bank…

Your article only says that this is happening in 16 banks (out of 800) in Germany alone, and gives no further examples across the rest of the eurozone, the EU or the rest of Europe. The BBC reports that rates are not generally being passed on to savers, and cites Handelsbanken in Sweden which says this would be “taboo”.

I’d agree, though, that my use of the phrase ‘high-net worth’ was sloppy. I’d intended to mean average savers without large sums on deposit. In the German example above that would be those with less than €100,000, which is still an untypical amount.

🤷

Feel free to howl into the wind but you asked for a source, I gave it.

I didn’t say every bank is Europe is charging negative interest rates, I said negative rates are a live issue in Europe. Germany is in Europe. Some banks in Germany are charging negative interest rates on all savers.

I’m not going to spend time researching every country in Europe as I’m not sure I feel as passionately about this as you do.

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Negative interest rates tend to be bad for most customer segments, not just banks and also leads to perverse situations like https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/aug/13/danish-bank-launches-worlds-first-negative-interest-rate-mortgage

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I saw the article and thought “hooo, boy” but then clicked and it’s only for euro accounts. And only on balances over €50k so it’s true, but clickbaity

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Very click baity

That truly is clickbait at it’s best

Yeah, holding €50,000+ in euro is not common for the average UK banking customer, I would think.

I only have that kind of money for my occasional visits to Monaco. :eyes:

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It looks like Starling Kite has officially launched:

To be honest I’m a little disappointed that it appears to just be a connected card with different branding.

In particular, I think the lack of visibility of the account/spend for the child is a huge downside for all they claim to care about financial education. Certainly once the kids get into the teenage years it’s even more difficult to envision a having a bank account with no visibility of the money or where it’s going.

Hopefully this will develop over time, though I doubt it will develop much further quickly as these tend to be launch and forget products from past experience.

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Got a joint account? The other person will get all that, too.

Seems like Starling didn’t forget about joint account holders when rolling out a big feature

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Looks like Kite is still being developed, so I would expect a child’s app at some point in the future. The piece looks like this is a first iteration, and launched to get a contactless card into school for things like lunch, to replace cash during Covid.

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I don’t get that impression at all. They’re advertising as a debit card for kids, which is exactly the product they’ve launched here. There’s no mention or allusion to any potential future improvements.

Products still in development, but publicly available should and would be labelled as beta.

I hope they improve it and add new features, but make no mistake, this is being pushed as a polished, finished, product.

Another example of a fin-tech unable to push the barriers of innovation beyond the base product very far. At this point Revolut feels like the only player in the game that isn’t restrained in their ability to continue to build innovative offerings.

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Curious, where does it state it’s still being (actively) developed? The app supports multiple accounts, it doesn’t really need a kids app - just an extra account in the app to start.

The website says this:

We’re launching Kite now to make sure going back to school feels as safe, contact-free and cashless as possible. So expect further developments over the coming months (and as always, give us your feedback!).

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Missed that bit. Thank you.

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I also missed the significance of this. Thanks for pointing it out @j06.

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Interestingly, I’ve also just noticed that the Kite cards don’t work with Apple Pay / Google Pay, which may be an issue for teenagers and younger people. It really just seems like a renamed version of the connected card at the moment. Hopefully, quite a lot more is coming particularly as it’s a paid product.

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