Starling Bank brings current account offering to Ireland

Headed up by a former AIB executive, the UK startup hasn't been deterred by Brexit...

London-based fintech firm Starling Bank is bringing its low-cost digital current account to Ireland.

It follows the likes of N26 and Revolut into the online Irish banking market and promises real-time notifications and payments, "zero" monthly account fees and a registration process that only takes a matter of minutes.

Starling confirmed today that it has received approval from the Bank of England to operate in Ireland under the EU's passporting arrangement and sees it as the first step in a major expansion into the bloc.

A number of Irish customers will test the service until the end of the year, with a full launch pencilled in for early 2018.

Founded by former AIB chief operating officer Anne Boden in 2014, it is one UK startup going against the tide and betting big on the EU at a time when other UK financial firms are retreating and defending themselves against Brexit.

The arrival comes as Nationwide UK closes its savings operation on this side of the Irish Sea, and Tesco closes its credit card offering to new customers. 

Boden has stated that she doesn't want Starling to act "like a bank at all" and is aiming to "build the best bank account in the world". 

Speaking to The Irish Times, Boden said:

"Ireland is a great place to start off our European expansion because of my personal experience and because of the fact that we can easily enter the European market in an environment I understand."