Bold move into on-line banking by Anne Boden

Former chief operating officer preparing for launch next year of UK digital retail bank, Starling

Having quietly taken her leave of AIB as chief operating officer last December, Anne Boden is busily preparing for the launch next year of her new UK digital retail bank, called Starling.

Boden is thinking big, telling a conference in London yesterday hosted by UK banking association BBA, that Starling would resemble Facebook or Google more than traditional high-street banks.

"The music industry has been transformed by iTunes, retailing by Amazon, but banking hasn't changed its approach in a long time," Boden told delegates. "The same simple services traditionally offered in branches have just moved online and into apps. Empowered, tech-savvy consumers want and deserve more from their banks, they want easy, intelligent banking, not just mobile versions of paper statements."

“Most customers aren’t switching because they see little difference between the big banks that all offer the same old-fashioned services.” Boden said.


“But now UK regulators have changed the rules to enable new entrants to compete. Finally, the technology behind all the best internet platforms can be brought to banking, allowing us to create a digital banking service that’s truly

personal to each customer.”

Starling will "resemble Google, Facebook and Amazon more than Barclays, HSBC or Lloyds [or AIB presumably]," she said.

According to UK native Boden’s own PR, at AIB she was responsible for the “cost base of the bank, including technology, operations and digital, and oversaw the introduction of technologies which transformed the customer experience and returned the bank to profitability”.

That's a big claim. Cantillon wonders if AIB chief executive David Duffy would agree with each of those assertions?