Profile of Anne Boden in The Sunday Times misleads?

This week’s Sunday Times Business interview is with Anne Boden, a few interesting nuggets but it’s repeating most of the ‘greatest hits’. Most interesting is the fact the reporter again thinks £1,450 is the average personal customer balance, would be good if someone would one day challenge the bank on this figure (as their main letter said this average is what is ‘reached’ by the ‘typical’ customer).

I mentioned before that this figure might be talking about the average ‘peak’ balance by adding the word reach, rather than the average overall balance across the year. And even then, excluding some personal account customers as ‘not typical’.

This seems to make sense, as the same letter says the average balance for limited companies is £10k, and £1.6k for SMEs, with a 60:40 split of business accounts between these two sets of customers. This means the real average balance of business customers is £6.6k rather than £10.5k mentioned using the same methodology as the £1450 for personal customers.

The ‘typical’ personal account customer is someone who isn’t depositing their salary in to their accounts - have Starling really excluded these people from their analysis? It’s all very opaque.

I don’t think its misleading, its clear, people always tend to rip articles apart, but its a well written article and explains enough for those not involved in FinTech.

1 Like

Yeah, it’s a great background primer to Starling (as these Sunday Times Profiles try to be) - but in terms of not misleading, are you saying that you think if you add up all of Starling’s personal balances and divide by the number of personal customers you get to £1450?

It very well could be true, I just don’t know why they use such complex language to explain it.

Good to see Starling on the front foot with publicity though, having let Monzo rule the airwaves for a couple of years. Starling are much more likely to be named alongside Monzo as a challenger bank, and I - gasp - even saw my second Starling card ever (other than mine!) in the wild this week.

That would be the mean average but perhaps they are using a different metric? They might exclude the bottom and top 10% in order to get a more meaningful number?

Also, ‘over a year’ should mean they must exclude newer customers? Either way their total deposits seems relatively high.

Maybe in other media outlets, but it seems like Anne has a direct line to The (Sunday) Times as she has been in there repeatedly over the last year for one thing or another, often far more on her own terms than is typical for those sort of pieces (that is a compliment of sorts on my part)

Anyhow, yes, it is good to see

1 Like

Heaven forbid, company’s corporate PR is doing exactly what it should do by courting a paper that appeals to a decent chunk of its target demographic and whose business section is widely read and well regarded, and so gives it plenty of attention. Get me a chair before I faint at the shock that organisation is earning its money. :thinking:

Next you’ll be really shocking me by telling me in exactly the same way Monzo and it’s CEO are prominently featuring in a newspaper that of them all appeals most to it’s target customer too; the left leaning, metropolitan based under 35 year old… I wonder which British newspaper would most fit that demographic… Hmmm… Is it the Torygraph?

3 Likes

Thanks for clipping out the bit where I said it was a compliment when quoting me

1 Like

Don’t misquote yourself. You missed the “of sorts” :wink:

3 Likes

I clipped out all the bits aside from the bit i was referring to in my reply, which was how I thought this worked? Do I have to include all the non relevant bits too for every comment? Sorry everyone, I’ve been doing this wrong.

:rofl:

1 Like

This is interesting! Can anyone find what this actually means? I’m sure there’s more to it than she can say in a tweet, but i’d be fascinated to know more. Presumably there’s time limits and details/ loopholes that mean it wouldn’t be a “no, never” situation like the tweet suggests, but she seems pretty emphatic its not happening anytime soon.

3 Likes

I’m not sure but I imagine if it’s taken over by one of the big 5 in the next few years the £100m has to be paid back?

1 Like

Your post was suggesting that the Southsea was suggesting something negative or underhand - but he’d said it was good to see and that Starling had a great relationship with the Sunday Times.

It’s all good guys :+1:t3:

1 Like

Well I’m glad you’ve explained what we’re supposed to think :joy:

Sorry I don’t agree :+1:

After a very dry half hour looking at the government website the best I can find is this

7.4
If there is a Change of Control of the Company such that the Company’s parent undertaking or another subsidiary undertaking of such parent undertaking is a bank with an SME market share in the United Kingdom of more than 14%, the Company shall within 10 Business Days of such Change of Control return to the Independent Body any part of the Funding Amount which it is has not spent as at the date that the transaction which would give rise to the Change of Control is announced.

Followed by

10.TERMINATION
10.1
Subject to Clause 10.2, this Agreement shall terminate on the earlier of:
(A)
the date falling[eighteen/nine] months after the date of this Agreement;
(B)
the date on which the Company repays the Funding Amount in full pursuant to Clause7.1(B); and
(C )
the date on which the Company repays any Funding Amount pursuant to Clause 7.4.

So I’m not sure if this is suggesting that they only have a max of 18 months in the scheme then can do what they like? This is not the sort of contract I know but I cant so far see anything that gives specifics in the publicly available documents, although there is the old term slipped in that the independent body can basically make any decisions they see fit whether in the terms or not so perhaps its in the specific agreements the businesses signed.

2 Likes

To be quite blunt if starling is bought by a big bank they’re dead to me :joy:

1 Like

You have more patience than me! :clap:

1 Like

Exactly right.

Ha! No one who had ever met me would use the word ‘patience’ in connection to me, not one of my virtues sadly. :see_no_evil:

Seriously though, the reason i posted that was because i was genuinely interested as I hadn’t seen or heard it mentioned anywhere before that it was actually a part of receiving an award. I realise of course that there are always conditions to “free” money, it was just the way Anne had worded it in the tweet that piqued my interest whether it was a literal “If you take the money, you cannot sell for 5 years” or if it was more nuanced. If it’s just that you have to pay the money back, in theory one of the big banks would just have to factor that repayment into their purchase price, and could buy tomorrow, not that that would be likely.

1 Like

Maybe that says more about my lack of patience then!

I imagine having a solid plan with no intention to sell helped Starling get the fund.

1 Like