Former Deloitte UK chief executive David Sproul is set to become the new chairman of challenger bank Starling.
Sproul, who also held the role of global deputy chief executive during his three decades with the Big Four auditor, has joined Starling as a director, and will take over as chairman on 1 October.
The veteran of Deloitte business units including consulting, advisory services and talent, will succeed Oliver Stockden once he departs Starling after six years at the bank.
Sproul described Starling in a 16 July statement as a “genuine and successful disruptor, building a new kind of bank and supporting its retail and small business customers in truly innovative ways”.
“I’m delighted to be joining at this key point in its development and look forward to supporting [chief executive] Anne [Boden] and her team in achieving Starling’s next goals.”
Those next goals for the so-called “unicorn” company include an IPO, after repeatedly rebuffing attempted takeovers from banking institutions having achieved a valuation of more than £1bn since its foundation in 2014.
Last year, reports emerged that JPMorgan and Lloyds Banking Group had both “expressed interest” in acquiring the nascent lender. Starling, which turned a monthly profit for the first time since in November 2020, is backed with funding from the likes of Goldman Sachs, Fidelity, the Qatar Investment Authority, pensions manager RPMI Railpen and Millennium Management.
However, the firm has also been embroiled in internal fights in the fintech community.
Boden’s recent memoir Banking On It contained details of a heated coup supposedly led by former lieutenant Tom Blomfield before he went on to launch Monzo, the rival start-up lender.
In the 16 July statement, Boden said that Sproul “extensive business advisory experience” would be invaluable to Starling as it continued to execute the next steps of its strategy, including “a targeted expansion of Starling’s lending in the UK, a move into Europe, anticipated M&A activity and more.”
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