Two of the UK’s most prominent fintech firms have been accused of editing their own pages on Wikipedia to remove criticism.
The Wikipedia pages of card management app Curve and challenger bank Starling both have warnings claiming the firms could have edited their own entries, as does the page of Starling chief executive Anne Boden.
A warning that a major contributor to it appears to have a close connection with its subject has been added to Curve’s page, after a Wikipedia user who appeared to be an employee of the card management app deleted the page’s entire section on controversies.
The section had previously mentioned a report alleging that only 14 per cent of Curve’s users return to the app every month — a figure disputed by Curve chief executive Shachar Bialick.
Last month Bialick told the Sunday Telegraph, which first reported the page edits, that a more accurate figure was 80 per cent.
“Curve has always maintained transparency when updating items on Wikipedia and adheres to Wikipedia’s strict conflict of interest guidelines,” a spokesperson said.
The Wikipedia pages of Starling Bank and Boden both have the same warning as Curve added, while the bank’s has an additional warning that parts of it are written like an advertisement.
A Starling spokesperson told City A.M. the bank was “baffled” by the edits to its page, which included deleting a section which mentioned that Starling had failed to meet its deadline for launching in Ireland.
“We don’t know who made those edits or why they made them,” the spokesperson said. “It’s got nothing to do with us”.
They said that a Starling employee had edited its page in 2018 to “correct some inaccuracies”, but that more recent edits were unconnected to the bank.