Starling Bank - Company Chat

Very interesting.

Starling has won investment from such high-profile investors with the promise that it can achieve success in countries outside its home market.

Ultimately, we felt that an Irish subsidiary would not deliver the added value we are seeking,” Boden said in the memo Monday.

Then there is a talk about SaaS.

This is very intriguing.


There’s a rumour they are about to buy a pan-European bank, and therefore wouldn’t need to make applications to each European country for a banking licence.


When I read they were cancelling their banking licence my first thought was, can’t they buy a cheap ish European bank. They have Goldman as a shareholder who would probably be able to help quietly

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Passporting rights means you don’t need to make applications in each EU country.

With all due respect. I don’t wish to see Starling grow or particularly beat other UK traditional banks.

If you know where to look it’s not hard to find groups named “Monzo stole our money” or “beware of Starling” on Facebook, I’m sure other social media has them.

What these people in countless groups complain about is how these internet only banks appear to closing accounts and seizing money. Sure closing accounts is one thing, but seizing funds is another.

Most of these so called “banks” hide behind regulation, yet it’s kinda strange that they do release funds back to their ex customers once a successful claim has been bought in the small claims court. Due to this I feel many a time they use regulation as a smokescreen of sorts.

This appears to be such a large phenomenon that there’s a whole. Bunch of groups on social media and a ton of other mentions of it. It’s too much to ignore.

It happened to me years ago with Monese, said to be one of the absolute worst. Ok so I lost £9 something once my funds were seized (or stolen as some might prefer to say?!?!). Had it have been more I’d have gone to the small claims court, but monese can keep it as I haven’t got the energy to chase down just over £9. I have the emails I sent and received as proof of this.

For this reason I closed my starling account via switch agreement to Barclays. I am considering closing Revolut as well as my level of trust in all the internet only banks is close to zero.

Internet only banking revolution, nah! Give me Metro Bank, Santander and Barclays any day!

Are any of them perfect, absolutely not. But you’d be hard pressed to find countless groups on social media called “Santander stole our money” (or similar).


Many of these banks have been popular with younger people whose behavior triggers internal AML compliance checks (not paying in salary, limited to no direct debits, crypto purchases etc). The regulations they are ‘hiding behind’ are the same for all banks and telling you anything is called ‘tipping off’ and severely punished.

Don’t believe Revolut is a bank, they don’t have a banking license in the UK. They cannot be compared to Starling, Monzo et al for this reason.

This took less than 5 minutes to Google. You’re welcome to your opinion however to suggest that the below are in any way ‘better’ than a neo bank is a bit daft.

Metro Bank -



Barclays requires you to search by year to narrow down their scandals. From rigging interest rates to funding pedophiles and misselling they’re a naughty bunch.


@NeilB is right the other banks are basically the same.

And they’ll all close your account if they feel they must.

The only thing that might be noticeable is I think it used to be easier to open accounts with starling and monzo, so they were easy targets for scams and fraud. Then they review bomb you when they get mad their account was closed for processing dirty money.

Other banks are no different though, accounts are closed every day.


Sure i get they all have issues on some level.

My issue is that these internet only banks appear to be closing accounts then effectively seizing the money. I’m sure they quote all sorts of regulations including AML.

As someone who works at one of the UK’s share registrars and have done on and off for over 8 years, I personally have been through various trainings including AML, DPA, GDPR, financial crime etc. I’m now a permanent member of staff there and not a contractor and the amount of training and compliance stuff has risen.

I’m happy to say that while I’m no expert, I can hold my own when it comes to most of these matters in discussion if it comes up down the pub, or wherever.

My point it these internet only banks (and e money institutions, to give Revolut it’s proper title, and monese) appear to be quoting all these regs, ok sure I get it, tipping off and all that.

My point is that when customers who have had more then a measly £9 somethig seized take it to the small claims court, by miracle the money (funds) gets returned. This doesn’t quite appear like AML compliance, at least where I’m standing as I’m sure if there were genuine concerns of money laundering or financial crime taking place, the small claims court would not be able to get these “banks” and e-money institutions to refund the ex customers.

As I say I’m well aware the others have been in banking scandals of their own, but actions like the above, appear to be limited specifically to the newer online only banks and e money institutions.

Also I am aware that people who have had their wages paid into the neo banks have had their accounts closed and money seized also. Most of these form the bulk of the people taking alcases to the small claims court as it’s not small sums on the table.

If we need to agree to disagree that’s ok, but I do think people need to go in “with their eyes open before opening an account”.

Is there any numbers available to be able compare the number of closures and money seized between the different banks?

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I opened my Starling account in 2018 and it’s fast become my #2 current account.

Don’t do crypto, which I believe can quickly trigger AML flags with bank accounts.


You really need to back that up with actual evidence of your claim.


Yes ok. Please note, as I personally haven’t done a small claims court process myself I can only include information related to other people’s cases.

Note: technically speaking Monese is an E money institution

That article is difficult to follow but from the documents and the call it seems that they closed his account on the 20/05 which is when the money was withdrawn and when he lost access, which is what happens when they send you a cheque or return funds to source and close your account.

It doesn’t appear any money was stolen?

And this is one example. Are you basing your claims off this one claim of theft where no theft occurred? And how is that different from the other banks where they actually had people stealing money?

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Yes they paid up in the end. Only because of the won court case in the small claims court.

That’s not what the article says. It says the money was sent out the day the account was closed which was the day of the phone call.

The money was removed from the account on the 20/05, the account was closed on the 20/05, and a cheque was send out on the 27/05. It wasn’t the result of a court case.

The TIG people talk about a court case and they show the initial form they filled in. But thats it. They never update on it. There’s no new information. They apparently have several court cases submitted and they’ve gone dark.

If you have a link to the court documentation showing they won their case in court then I’ll happily correct my post. But it just seems like someone had their account frozen for gambling, and eventually had their account closed and money returned. The TIG people made a little profit of their own out of it


You would be well aware of the legal requirements that all financial institutions have to comply with. Maybe these institutions are overly sensitive with their AML flags but they have to follow the regaluations.

They are banks, they have a banking license issued by the FCA. For consistency, you should probably call Freetrade a “stockbroker”.

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I use freetrade and while I have done critique of them and have been fairly public with such critiques, I will not go so far as to call freetrade a “stockbroker” as they are a broker in my eyes.

Short of zero commission trading, they are no different to HL.

The reason I use the word “Banks” is because this sort of thing appears to be too widespread to ignore. TIG has produced an open letter calling out the FCA directly.

I would of course be open minded to this being a mix up re:AML regs, of course I would. But why does a successful claim in the small claims court seem to get an ex customer to their money back, that is the question I pose.

The small claims court works with UK law and if there are genuine suspicions of financial misconduct (including AML) no matter how founded or unfounded, the small claims court couldn’t order for the money to be paid.

There seems to be something else going on here.

I understand that some people have had various issues. But I could write and open letter to the FCA right now saying whatever I want. Does that mean there’s a widespread conspiracy between the FCA an neo banks to steal money from gamblers? No

There’s one claim that doesn’t appear to hold up (no one’s money was stolen), and it doesn’t appear that they moved forward with their case.

And that’s not to say the claim couldn’t have been legitimate. But it seems like you’ve made a huge leap in thinking based off very little evidence.

And as noted in this thread other banks have been legitimately caught actually stealing money multiple times. More than these neo banks (which stands at zero cases of theft). And you don’t seem phased?


Some of the stuff the big banks have done is appalling!!! Ethics and banking don’t always go hand in hand :slight_smile: Some of the biggest banks have facilitated international crime and ruined countries finances and peoples lives. The comparison is on a different level.

An example of banks screwing people Natwest lost my money many years ago. I had the deposit receipt and they accepted it was their error as they put it in a wrong account. I was about to move to Oz for a year and they wouldn’t sort it out in the 3 months before I went. This took nearly 8 months to get back with a bloody receipt!!! I had spent a fortune on calls to sort over months and only got my initial money back so actually lost loads.

The so called big banks always screw people over as well so personally I feel very safe with Starling and wouldn’t worry.

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This is what a representative sample of customers really think.
The arguments against Neobanks above were just anecdotal evidence, which is not adequate evidence at all.