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HomeBusinessStarling Bank names Raman Bhatia as group CEO

Starling Bank names Raman Bhatia as group CEO

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LONDON-based digital lender, Starling Bank, has appointed Raman Bhatia as the new group CEO. Bhatia is currently the chief executive of OVO, a technology-enabled energy retailer in the UK.

He is set to replace interim chief executive John Mountain in early summer, pending regulatory approval.

Bhatia joined OVO in January 2020 as the chief operating officer. He oversaw the merging of SSE Energy Service and moved millions of customers to the Kaluza platform. He was also one of the leaders of OVO’s inclusion and diversity initiative.

“We see significant opportunities for Starling under Raman’s leadership as the economy stabilises, as our truly differentiated offering for personal and small business customers wins market share in the UK, and as our Engine by Starling Software-as-a-Service business secures further international contracts,” said David Sproul, chair of Starling Bank.

“I want to thank John Mountain for his wise stewardship of Starling these past eight months and am delighted that we will continue to benefit from his expertise at the company.”

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Starling Bank was established in 2014 alongside other neobanks during a period of regulatory reform aimed at fostering innovation in the UK banking sector.

Its valuation has declined from £2.5 billion to approximately £1.5bn due to a share sale by fund manager Jupiter, and its growth has trailed behind that of its competitors, reported The Financial Times.

Bhatia served as the head of Digital Bank for HSBC Retail Banking and Wealth Management in the UK and Europe. Prior to that, he held positions in consumer technology, serving as vice president at HouseTrip and director of strategy at Expedia.

Bhatia said, “I am truly honoured to be appointed as the next Group CEO of Starling Bank. Starling is a company I have long admired because it believes passionately, like I do, in using the power of technology to do the right thing for its customers and its people. I can’t wait to get started and to see what we can achieve together.”

Reports said that his appointment could aid the bank in advancing to its next phase of growth, potentially leading to a public listing, following the departure of founder Anne Boden.

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