Anne Boden: “Keep knocking on those doors”

The CEO & founder of Starling Bank on how to build a challenger bank from scratch to conquer the Fintech world

At a point when most people make plans for their retirement, our podcast guest this week wrote a business plan to start her own bank: 

Anne Boden, the CEO and founder of Starling Bank, who has built a name for herself building one of UK’s standout digital banks, drawing on her experience in the financial heartlands for more than 30 years building and running global banking and payments businesses as part of RBS and Lloyds among other things. 

The banker and technologist is the prime example and embodiment of the famous saying it’s never too late to break new ground. 

And in this week’s episode the exceptional founder shares her learnings from making her way up to the top in the Fintech world: 1) From how to build a challenger bank from scratch and 2) why she is not threatened by the established big banks to 3) how to diversify your revenue streams to make your business profitable. 

But her wisdom goes far beyond just the Fintech world and offers founders from all sectors a glimpse into her way of navigating the experience of being a founder especially as a woman in a very male dominated entrepreneurial environment. 

Despite having had a 30-years career in the global banking and payment business earlier to  founding Starling Bank, Anne had to face the same challenges as every other founder specifically when asking for funding. So her advice to younger entrepreneurs is to keep pushing: “Keep knocking on those doors!”

And one thing she would recommend every founder is to have lots of drive and ambition: “If I aim for something really awesome, really ambitious - even failure would be a success”, she told Bits & Pretzels Editor-In-Chief Britta Weddeling. 

03:00: Why Anne Boden is the most unusual banker 
06:54: The challenges of a corporate to a startup transition
09:28: How the idea for Starling Bank was born  
11:49: “Silicon Valley has done tech, but Europe is doing Fintech”
12:55: The business model and the revenue strategy of Starling Bank 
17:12: Why most startups have to focus on survival at the beginning stage 
20:37: Beer Garden Break: “Keep knocking on those doors” 
26:21: How to distinguish between good and bad advice 
29:07: Strategic thinking is essential for founders 
30:54: Tool Box: The founder is the heart of the organization 
32:16: Either-or-game: “I’m all about moving forward rather than looking back” 

Production: Regina Körner, Migo Fecke (professional-podcast.com); Sophie Dechansreiter & Dina Zhakupova