UK-based digital lender Starling Bank has appointed Raman Bhatia, the current CEO of Ovo, as its new group CEO. 

Bhatia will succeed Starling’s interim CEO John Mountain, who stepped in after the departure of the bank’s founder Anne Boden last year. 

Before joining Ovo, Bhatia had led the digital banking division for HSBC‘s Retail Banking and Wealth Management in the UK and Europe.  

His responsibilities included overseeing HSBC, First Direct, and M&S Bank, and he was also a member of the Executive Committee. 

Headquartered in London, Starling Bank offers a range of account types, including personal, joint, business and current accounts, as well as a children’s card.  

It also provides a software-as-a-service proposition through its subsidiary Engine, leveraging the proprietary technology platform that underpins its banking operations. 

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Bhatia’s appointment is presently pending regulatory approval from the authorities, and he is anticipated to start his new position later this year. 

According to the Financial Times, Bhatia’s primary task at Starling will be to guide the bank towards a public listing.  

In addition to preparing for a potential initial public offering, Bhatia is expected to manage the growth of Starling’s banking business while promoting the bank’s banking software solution Engine.  

The bank aims to market Engine to other banks on an international scale, the report noted.  

Starling Bank chair David Sproul said: “We see significant opportunities for Starling under Raman’s leadership as the economy stabilises, as our truly differentiated offering for personal and small business customers wins market share in the UK, and as our Engine by Starling software-as-a-service business secures further international contracts.  

“I want to thank John Mountain for his wise stewardship of Starling these past eight months and am delighted that we will continue to benefit from his expertise at the company.”