A BANKING firm is set to open its new office in Southampton today (Monday) creating 150 jobs for the city.

Online bank Starling will be holding its official ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new site this afternoon.

Starling is a digital-only challenger bank, providing business and current accounts to over half a million people nationwide.

During the event, CEO Anne Boden will formally open the office with Dame Wendy Hall.

It will be held at Starling’s new office, Beresford House, a newly refreshed building that stands on the site of a former warehouse that played a key role during D-Day in World War 2.

As previously reported by the Daily Echo, Starling chose Southampton because of the city’s growing reputation as a growing tech hub, supported by the University of Southampton and Solent University.

The new offices will house up to 50 software engineers and 100 customer service staff. Most of these jobs will be new hires.

Earlier this year Starling announced it would be growing its presence outside of London and chose Southampton to create 150 new jobs.

Starling, which was founded five years ago, has 500,000 current account customers and 30,000 business customers.

It is one of a host of digital-only challenger banks that have sprung up in recent years aiming to take market share from traditional lenders. Much of its business is done via mobile phone apps.

Southampton was recently identified as a “supercluster” technology hotspot by CBRE, a property advisory group, for its high employment of technology professionals.

Chief executive Anne Boden said: “We are growing so fast that we are rapidly running out of space in our London offices.

“What really attracts us to Southampton is its entrepreneurial spirit and its level of tech talent.

“We’re looking for new people – engineers as well as customer service team members – to join us in Southampton now and will be expanding the office quickly.”

Starling was awarded £100 million earlier in the year by Royal Bank of Scotland competition remedies fund that aims to break the high street giants’ grip on the banking sector.

Ms Boden said Starling was looking to increase its number of business customers, aiming at sole traders, start-ups and SMEs (small to medium enterprises).

“We want to build a business bank and much of the work needed to do that will happen in Southampton,” she said.

Starling arrival was welcomed by the city’s business leaders.