Starling Bank has announced that it is to expand its Southampton base, bringing more jobs to the south coast as the bank continues to grow in popularity in the UK.
When Starling decided to expand outside of London in 2019, Southampton was the first location chosen. It is now the site of around 220 workers at the Town Quay site, primarily made up of customer service and technical roles.
There’s no confirmation yet on the size of the expansion but it involves taking extra office space due to the demand of the growing customer base.
Dedication To Southampton
Anne Boden, the founder and Chief Executive of Starling, said “We’re very, very happy with Southampton. We’ve actually committed to taking a bit more space in Southampton.”
Southampton was our first centre outside London. We’re right on Town Quay which is a great location.
It’s a very unusual location, it’s not a business park. When we decided to look for our first location outside London, we wanted not to go to the typical locations. We wanted to go to a real city and Southampton was a wonderful, semi-industrial place that had a great university.
Despite Southampton being the first location outside of London for the bank, it isn’t the largest. Starling currently has 570 employees in London, 316 in Cardiff and 6 members of staff in their Dublin office.
Future Growth Predicted
At the same time as announcing the new jobs in Southampton, Boden stated her belief that the bank will increase its share of the small and medium-sized enterprise market over the next five years to 18%.
That would require a significant increase from the current market share of 4.4% of UK SMEs. However, signs are good, with an established 2.2 million customer base. The bank has given out almost £1.5 billion in bounceback loans over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic, with around a third of those in London.
The predictions come a month after it was revealed that fund management group Fidelity was in talks to lead a £200 million fundraising for Starling, themselves taking a £100 million stake in the bank in what should be seen as a major vote of confidence.
Nothing has been formally agreed yet although talks are known to be ongoing, following Starling’s first monthly profit last October despite the bounceback lending. Various sources indicate that other blue-chip investors are also interested in a stake in the bank.
At the time, it was reported that Lloyds Banking Group and JP Morgan Chase were interested in buying the bank outright but now Starling’s directors have decided to seek funding with a view to being listed publicly in the next couple of years.