Challenger bank to open second UK office
UK challenger bank Starling Bank is to open a second UK office this summer.
The new office will be their first outside of London, with the planned location to be in Southampton on the South Coast of England.
The bank plans to recruit up to 50 software engineers and up to 100 customer service team members to help build out the challenger back’s business banking product.
In just under a year, Starling has garnered more than 30,000 SME business account sign ups, adding to around 500,000 consumer current accounts.
Opened by Anne Boden in 2014, the company now plans to heavily invest in its business banking division after being awarded a £100 million grant from the Capability and Innovation Fund.
Boden also said that Southampton was chosen as Starling’s new office for its entrepreneurial spirit and high level of tech talent.
She said the city is gaining a reputation as a “burgeoning tech hub” and has a growing skilled jobs market and good transport links, including to and from London.
More broadly, she wants Starling to “spread the FinTech love” beyond its traditional base of London, and there is an increasing sense that UK tech is too London centric.
Southampton was recently identified in research conducted by global service company CBRE as a technology “Super Cluster” based on the level, concentration and growth of tech sector employment in the city.
The announcement of a second Starling office comes a month after the challenger bank announced it had raised £75 million in further funding.
The new capital consisted of a £60 million Series C round led by Merian Global Investors, including Merian Chrysalis, with £15 million in follow-on funding from Starling’s existing backer and major shareholder Harald McPike.