Thursday 11 February 2021 5:46 pm

Big tech must do more on financial fraud, Starling boss says

The chief executive of Starling Bank, Anne Boden has accused social media platforms of supporting financial fraudsters.  

“A vast number of people in the world at present are being scammed… some of that scamming is being supported by big tech because they’re hosting these scams,” Anne Boden said. “The world is moving faster and faster, the bad guys are getting cleverer.” 

The City regulator has already called on platforms like Google to do more about the promotion of financial products. A recent FCA report found people are increasingly drawn in to apply for financial products through search engines and social media platforms. 

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“As an industry we need social media, we need big tech to take responsibility for some of the financial fraud at the moment,” Boden said. “As a world in general – government, big tech, telecoms, financial services – we need to work together to make it a safer place for consumers.” 

Her comments were made at a conference organised by Finance Ireland, hosted by the Financial Times. She also spoke about the rapid rise of cryptocurrency but said Starling would not support the digital asset for a while. 

“We don’t feel our customers require it at the moment… but ask us in a year’s time we’ll probably have changed our opinion,” she said. 

Starling Bank has enjoyed rapid growth in recent years. “For many years we competed with the neobanks, now we’re taking on the big boys and competing against the legacy banks,” Boden said. 

In October the bank generated £9m of revenue to break even as its rivals racked up losses. 

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