Starling Bank Shifts Focus to International Software Business

Starling Bank Shifts Focus to International Software Business

Luca Rossi
2 min read

Starling Bank Shifts Focus to International Software Business

Starling, a leading neobank based in the UK, has chosen to forgo reapplying for an EU banking license in favor of concentrating on global expansion via its proprietary software platform, Engine. This strategic shift sets Starling apart from other digital-only banks in their approach to growth. During his inaugural public appearance as CEO in March, incoming CEO Raman Bhatia, previously of OVO Energy Ltd., disclosed this forward-looking plan. With a valuation of £2.5 billion, Starling intends to utilize Engine to market its technology to other financial institutions, empowering them to create their own digital banking services. The company has identified substantial opportunities in markets such as Thailand and the Middle East, with Salt Bank in Romania and AMP in Australia already onboard as initial clients for Engine, signaling Starling’s aim to lead in the enterprise software sphere.

Key Takeaways

  • Starling Bank opts against re-applying for an EU banking license and shifts focus to international expansion through its software division.
  • Incoming CEO Raman Bhatia plans to leverage Starling's Engine platform to facilitate the establishment of digital services by other banks.
  • Starling, with a valuation of £2.5 billion, identifies vast prospects in regions like Thailand and the Middle East.
  • Engine, Starling's software platform, has already attracted its first clients: Salt Bank in Romania and AMP in Australia.
  • Bhatia aims to intensify the pursuit of market share in the enterprise software landscape through the Engine strategy.


Starling Bank’s strategy to prioritize its Engine platform for worldwide growth rather than pursuing an EU license exemplifies a strategic shift towards B2B software solutions. This move has the potential to significantly influence conventional banking sectors, particularly in emerging markets like Thailand and the Middle East, by facilitating rapid digitization within local banks. This decision may be partially influenced by regulatory complexities and competition within the EU. In the short term, Starling's revenue streams could diversify, while in the long term, it may establish itself as a trailblazer in banking technology, essentially shaping global digital banking standards. However, this strategy also carries the risk of slower-than-expected adoption of Engine by other banks.

Did You Know?

  • Neobank: A form of direct bank that operates solely online without physical branches, leveraging technology to offer services traditionally provided by conventional banks, often emphasizing digital interfaces and user experience.
  • EU Banking License: A banking license granted by the European Union allowing a bank to operate across all EU member states under the principle of passporting, which eases cross-border financial services within the EU.
  • Enterprise Software Market: Comprising software products intended for organizational use rather than individual consumers, including tools for business management, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, aimed at enhancing organizational efficiency and productivity.

You May Also Like

This article is submitted by our user under the News Submission Rules and Guidelines. The cover photo is computer generated art for illustrative purposes only; not indicative of factual content. If you believe this article infringes upon copyright rights, please do not hesitate to report it by sending an email to us. Your vigilance and cooperation are invaluable in helping us maintain a respectful and legally compliant community.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get the latest in enterprise business and tech with exclusive peeks at our new offerings