UK digital bank Starling trims losses as revenue skyrockets 600%

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The Starling Bank banking app on a smartphone.

Adrian Dennis | AFP via Getty Images

LONDON — British digital bank Starling reported a sevenfold increase in revenue in the 16 months ending March 2021 as its lending soared, helping to cut losses in half.

Losses after tax totaled £23.3 million ($32 million) in the period, down from the £52.1 million Starling lost in its last annual accounts, which covered the 12 months up to Nov. 30.

Revenues, meanwhile, shot up 600% to £97.6 million from £14 million in its 2019 fiscal results.

Starling said it changed its financial year-end from Nov. 30 to March 31 to make it easier for shareholders to compare results on a quarterly basis.

The London-based firm has been significantly growing its balance sheet amid a surge in lending thanks to government-backed financing schemes aimed at helping businesses through the coronavirus pandemic.

Starling said the amount of lending on its books spiked to £2.2 billion “from a very low base.” This helped the bank break even for the first time in Oct. 2020, Starling said, adding that it has made a profit each month since then.

In a trading update Thursday, Starling said sales reached £42.8 million in three months to the end of June 2021, giving it an annual run rate of £170 million.

Starling is now “very much on track to post our first full year of profitability” in its 2022 fiscal results, CEO and founder Anne Boden told reporters on a call Thursday.

Diverging from rivals

The bank’s shift toward profitability marks a divergence from fellow fintechs Monzo and Revolut, which saw their losses mount in 2020.

IPO plans

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