Starling Bank going mainstream lending from digital upstart

Two years ago, UK based Starling was best known as a digital banking upstart, targeting dissatisfied retail customers of the UK’s big banks with easy-to-use current accounts, overdrafts and money transfers. Yet in the UK’s huge business lending market it barely registered, with a paltry £115,000 of loans on its books.

Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit and, amid the chaos of the sudden shift to remote working and fears of a deep recession, Starling threw open its doors to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). By March 2021, Starling had facilitated £2.2bn of business loans to more than 40,000 customers.