Starling dominate the British Banking Awards 2019


They now have 2 million accounts between them. About 4 years a go they had none. I’m very optimistic.

Also it bothers me when I speak to people who work at the bigger banks and they’re so arrogant they consider it a job for life. It shouldn’t be like that.


I think the split between Monzo and Starling is probably closer than it appears.

Monzo have 1 million active users and I believe a third of them are paying their salary in (or perhaps it’s a 3rd of 1.5 million, it doesn’t matter).

Starling have 500,000 customers, but no stats on salary - I’d guess it’s more than a third.

I still honestly think the big banks will end up with feature sets far closer to the challengers than they currently have, which limits the “marketing” Monzo/Starling can do.

I also don’t see many customers in the UK changing banks due to “ethical or moral” reasons.

When it comes to money, people seem to like familiarity and safety.

I’ve spoken to quite a lot of people about Monzo/Starling, and one of the questions they always ask is “what if they go under?”.

You just wouldn’t get that question if you said “I bank with Barclays”.

It’ll be a long time before those thoughts disappear.


Yes it’s definitely difficult to get people to switch.

People are getting more and more fed up with other banks unreliable apps though. I imagine that will help monzo and starling.


Hopefully - Although I wonder how many people still think “I can only have one current account”.

I tell people I’ve got 4/5 and they think I’m some money launderer…(I emphasise the vast majority are empty!)

(sam) #25

Nick I think you maybe reading this wrong. The number of votes wasn’t important, it was the score achieved. 4.93/5 is pretty impressive

(sam) #26

I think this is true to a point, at one point I was running business accounts from two providers and starling. And current accounts from 3 providers.
I’ve now cass’d everything to starling apart from a HSBC account that is open just for the insurance
I got to the point where there was nothing holding me to the others.
Also my parents have been with Lloyd since they got married 44 years ago. They’re about to Cass that and their HSBC accounts to starling.


Oh, don’t get me wrong - It’s a great score, but I disagree that the rating has much relevance.

5/5 from 1 vote would be pointless.

4.93 from 3,000 votes is great, and shows that those who did go out of their way to vote are clearly loving it.

But it’s still a minuscule number of votes…

(sam) #28

There’s a minimum number of votes in order to be nominated.
Starling and monzo got more than most legacy banks.
The fact their users aren’t willing to vote shows they are disenchanted with their banks offerings


It makes no difference lol.

There was a customer survey vote last year for something or other, and Monzo missed out on being nominated by 1 vote (literally… 1 vote).

Threshold was something like 100 votes, so it wasn’t even very high!

But the point is, with such low numbers of people voting, whilst it’s a great achievement, and something I’d be signing and dancing about if I were Anne - It’s really not a representation of the wider estate.

Heck, NatWest won the banking app last year, and it’s considered one of the worst ever!

(sam) #30

It’s all very subjective but it’s a measure of how their customers think they are doing. So 4.93 / 5, they are doing something right.
But if tsb get 3.99 and co-op 4.2 then we should probably subtract 3 from all the scores to make them more realistic :joy::joy:

At worst, it’s a pointless award, with no value. At best, it’s a good marketing message for starling to use, so they should make the most of it.


Absolutely - I’ve seen “Best British Bank of 2018” on a lot of Starling’s material this past year (they won it last year as well).

No normal person cares about number of votes, and percentage of customer base etc etc - They just see “wow, best British bank!”.

It’s a great coup for them, and I’m happy they got it! :smiley:

(sam) #32

There’s a few salty posts on the monzo forum. Bottom line though is either, they should have voted, or they did and there’s only 432 monzo accounts that actually get used.


I haven’t seen any salty posts - Just praise for Monzo winning their own award (the best banking app).

Same metrics apply to low turnout of voters though, and it’s weird that Starling didn’t win it (considering they won Best Bank, you’d assume people would have voted them to best app as well).

Or on the flip side, why didn’t Monzo win Best Bank?

Anyway, it’s irrelevant, as Starling mopped up the awards for another year!

(sam) #34

“Maybe Monzo needs to close communications with its customers and start slowing down it’s growth a bit?”

“Obviously NatWest didn’t pay enough this time to fudge the votes. :thinking:

“this is the award where last year Starling contacted all their customers and said “Vote for us!” So they probably did the same this year?”

Sometimes all that needs to be said is well done. Monzo were just behind, hope they try harder next time.

( #35

But then this is what’s astonishing about Monzo’s complete arrogance in this area. “Nobody cares about trustpilot” “Nobody cares about awards (until we win one then we triumphantly put it on our community without mentioning our peer who won 3)” it’s all part of a general “we know better, we don’t need to do what everyone else does”… only it does matter and does help. It’s not the be all and end all, no, but these little things all come together to build a brand.


I’m surprised Monzo aren’t more pro active in this type of marketing - It’s free at the end of the day!

The trustpilot thing is a constant issue for them, I’m not really sure there is a way around that (stricter entry criteria I’d imagine).

They seem to shun the “traditional” banking type things, and look to be placing themselves on an island, away from the legacy types.

Starling on the other hand have embraced the existing banks, and have aligned themselves more like a traditional bank with new ideas.

From an outside POV, this looks better IMO.

Monzo have done very well with growing their user base, but like we’ve said previously, it’s just consistent growth - You’d expect it to explode after a certain point.

(sam) #37

It’s an attitude that I can see costing them in the long run.
Starling: we want to make the best business account as well as personal account.
Monzo: who even uses business accounts these days, theyre so 2012
Starling: our business accounts are great
Monzo: maybe we should copy, can’t be bothered though, we won’t make anything from referring people to bulb or octopus
Starling: we’ve been awarded £100000000 for developing our business accounts
Monzo: we were playing it cool l, just starting with 100 customers as we are so amazing. We can issue some more shares if we want some cash.


Awards like this are only great from a marketing point of view. Yes voted on by real people, but you have to ask yourself, how many people without any interest in finance or banking use smart money people, or follow a bank on twitter or facebook. Take Monzo for example, 1.5 million customers, 82.6k followers, considering the appeal and type of customer Monzo seems to attract you would expect that to be higher, but as people in general don’t follow a bank, its quite normal.

That’s why the quarterly figures on banking satisfaction are actually more relevant, its 1000 random customers from each bank, they don’t need to be using twitter, or facebook or read moneysavingexpert or smart money people to get an invite. When banks like Monzo and Starling get involved in official figures then it will really be interesting.

Well done on each bank to do well though, we can’t take that away from them, they still did better than some high street banks with the millions of customers they have.


Monzo isn’t radical enough not to lend to their customers :joy:


Starling is not ideal but 100 times better than Monzo.
Yes, awards is like Ads for Starling - more recognisable brand.