UK Lender Starling Loses Four Executive Employees

Co-Founder Among Executives Quitting Starling

Amid expansion efforts of U.K. digital bank Starling, several senior executives — including Julian Sawyer, Starling’s co-founder and chief operating officer — have left this year.

The exits come at a time the lender is attempting to speed up its growth, the Financial Times reports.

Sawyer, who was also head of banking services, stepped down July 11 following Product Director Ben Chisell’s departure last week. Chief Platform Officer Megan Caywood left in January, while Stuart Doignie, who was head of SME lending, and Jason Wilkinson Brown, another senior officer, both left in May.

“As co-founder and former COO I’ve had an amazing 4.5 years at Starling. The time is right for me to move on and look for my next exciting opportunity,” Sawyer said in a statement.

No replacements have been hired despite the bank’s ambitious growth plans after securing venture capital funds in February 2019. Starling raised £75 million in an investment round led by asset manager Merian Global Investors, and the company won £100 million from an EU-mandated fund designed to boost competition in the business banking sector.

“We are in hypergrowth mode … the consequence of high growth is that we are a very different company compared to last year and we will be a very different company in six months’ time,” a Starling spokesperson in a statement. “Our success means that we are seen as a source of talent and many ex-Starlings move on to great roles in companies that want to emulate us. We wish them all well.”

Bottomline Technologies teamed up with Starling Bank in June 2019 to launch a Real-Time Payments Express Service and partnered with FreeAgent in April allowing joint small business users.

Starling is the second-largest of the recent app-based banks to launch in the U.K. behind Monzo, which was started by former Starling executives and is worth an estimated £2 billion after raising £113 million in new funding in June 2019.