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Meet the lender: Starling Bank

In this new ‘Meet the lender’ series, we’ll be interviewing some of our lenders so you can find out more about their product offering, why they like partnering with us and what they’re looking for from businesses they lend to….

Our first interview is with digital bank Starling. Having recently been accredited for the Recovery Loan Scheme, they tell us all about their RLS product.

Starling bankLender name
: Starling Bank
Year established: 2014
Money lent to date:
Over £2 billion 
Types of finance offered: Recovery Loan Scheme

A bit of background about the company:

Starling Bank is an award-winning, fully-licensed and regulated bank built to give people a fairer, smarter and more human alternative to the banks of the past. It offers personal, business, joint, children’s, teen, euro and dollar current accounts alongside a range of lending products.

Starling also provides B2B banking and payments services through its Banking-as-a-Service model based on the proprietary technology platform that it uses to power its own bank. The Starling Marketplace offers customers in-app access to a selection of third party financial services. Headquartered in London, it has offices in Southampton, Cardiff and Dublin.

Can you tell us more about the types of finance products you offer?

At Starling we offer loans of £25,001 to £250,000 through the Recovery Loan Scheme. We have been accredited by the British Business Bank to offer the scheme to our Limited Company and LLP customers.

We’re here to support businesses and take a personal approach. All applications are reviewed by our specialist UK based team. 

Businesses can apply for an RLS loan even if they’ve had a Bounce Back Loan or Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) loan or overdraft. They won’t need to pay those back first.

The important items to bear in mind for an RLS with Starling:  

  • We’re offering loans to Limited Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships
  • There’s a 4% arrangement fee
  • Businesses can spread their repayments over up to six years (minimum of three months)
  • RLS aims to help businesses affected by Covid-19 and is for business purposes, such as managing cashflow, investing in and growing your business
  • If the business is not a Starling customer already, you’ll need to open a business current account to receive the loan
  • The RLS is available until 31st December 2021, subject to review

Businesses can apply for a Starling RLS term loan now, if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • They must have been impacted by Covid-19
  • The business must be based in the UK and carrying out trading activity in the UK
  • The business must be viable, which is reviewed as part of our creditworthiness assessment

What types of businesses do you tend to lend to? (size, sector, age, turnover etc.)

We welcome a large range of businesses at Starling, from a variety of sectors and business size. Our business and sole trader accounts are designed to get better banking into the hands of more UK business owners. There are some sectors and company types we can’t service, and therefore lend to, so businesses thinking about opening an account or with us or applying for a loan should double check this via our terms and conditions. 

The businesses we tend to lend to can also clearly show evidence that the business is being well managed and the lending being applied for is affordable.

All of our small business lending applications are assessed by our expert team of Underwriters who will go into the details of the business and ensure that they fully understand the requirements of the customer. 

What does a good business look like to Starling?

We offer our Business Current Account to Limited Companies, LLPs and Sole Traders and lending to Limited Companies and LLPs. Our Business customers need to be registered in the UK, with UK based ownership.

Why do you like partnering with Fluidly?

Both Fluidly and Starling are tech-led companies that aim to give the best possible service to customers. We are both committed to helping small businesses get the financing support they need and make that process as easy as it can be. 

Where do most businesses fall down when applying for funding? 

There are some helpful tips for putting your best foot forward when it comes to applying for funding. Firstly:

  • Don’t leave things to the last minute. You want to make sure you have more than enough time to get your finances in order before applying. 

  • Don’t submit incomplete application forms with important information missing on your business’ past activities. This is very common and can slow down your application. 

  • Also try to stay focussed on how you will use the money you are applying for and why; communicate this using really clear, jargon-free language. 

Best piece of advice for businesses seeking funding right now?

Make sure you know all your options, and talk to experts. Whether this is other business owners, lenders, your accountant – they will be able to make sure you have all the information at your fingertips to make the best possible decision for your business. 

What do you expect the future of lending to look like post CBILS? 

Starling will be offering the Recovery Loan scheme and following this we have a pipeline of other lending products being developed. These will be launched over the next few months to ensure we can offer a full banking solution for our customers. 

Do you need funding now?

If you’re a small business owner looking for funding, you can find funding options from Starling and our other lending panel in just 30 seconds. Simply enter your business name.

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