THE digital bank which has created more than 200 jobs in Southampton is to expand in the city.

Starling brought customer service and technical jobs to Town Quay when it chose the city for its first base outside London in 2019.

It currently has 226 people based at the Beresford House site – and its boss has revealed that it has committed to more space.

Starling Bank founder and chief executive Anne Boden told the Daily Echo: “We’re very, very happy with Southampton.

“We’ve actually committed to taking a bit more space in Southampton.”

Online banking firm Starling to open new Southampton office

The bank, based around a mobile app and 24-hour support on the phone, now has more than 2.2million accounts, including 4.4 per cent of the UK’s small and medium sized business market.

Ms Boden said it was creating quality jobs in both tech and customer services, with no functions outsourced overseas.

Banking firm confirms location of 150 new Southampton jobs

“Southampton was our first centre outside London. We’re right on Town Quay which is a great location,” Ms Boden said at an online event for journalists.

“It’s a very unusual location, it’s not a business park. When we decided to look for our first location outside London, we wanted not to go to the typical locations. We wanted to go to a real city and Southampton was a wonderful, semi-industrial place that had a great university.”

Starling Bank opens new office at Beresford House creating 150 jobs

She said Southampton had the skills the company needed. “A lot of people who are commuting to London for jobs in financial services have decided that it’s quite nice to stay home and have a shorter commute, so we’ve found that people who are perhaps living in the area and were travelling to Winchester and into London have decided there are great technology jobs in Starling,” she added.

“Secondly, we have great relationships with the universities and finally it’s the fact that people tend to leave university, stay in the area because they like it and perhaps haven’t found the ideal job as their first job and then find an organisation such as Starling, which is a great employer, and then decide to swap to us.”

She added: “We’re a very diverse organisation. We have a bit of a passion and a mission We have an organisation with a purpose.

“People nowadays want to work for organisations that stand for something. When people say ‘I work for X’ or ‘I work for Y’, that says something about them and if you work for Starling, we do the right thing,” she added.

“It’s very important that we’re doing the right thing. We’re very responsible and accountable to all our stakeholders, we believe in diversity, we believe in tech, we believe in people having an opinion. I think that you can almost touch the culture at Starling. We believe in what we’re doing and I think that we feel for our customers.”

Starling currently has 570 staff in London, 316 in Cardiff and six in Dublin as well as its Southampton operation.

Ms Boden said the shift to home working during the pandemic meant that the company could hire all over the country as long as people could “occasionally travel” to one of its centres.

“I believe that the world of fintech – finance, technology – shouldn’t be about the people who can live and work in central London because the vast majority of people in the UK can’t afford to live in the centre of London and don’t want to live in the centre of London and don’t feel it’s the place for them,” she added.