Starling reportedly buys £1bn mortgage book

By Aisling Finn on Tuesday 16 November 2021

Digital Banking

Kensington Mortgages provides home loans to those who might be turned down by the highstreet banks.

Starling reportedly buys £1bn mortgage book
Image source: Starling Bank.

Nearly six months on from its acquisition of Fleet Mortgages for £50m, Starling has reportedly bought another mortgage book for a much bigger sum.

According to This is Money, Starling Bank has bought a £1bn mortgage portfolio from Kensington Mortgages.

The alleged purchase is considerably larger than its purchase of Fleet Mortgages, which marked its first and only acquisition to date.

Kensington Mortgages provides home loans to customers who are likely to be overlooked by more traditional providers because they are self-employed for example. 

Despite the report, Starling declined to provide a comment to AltFi.

If true, the £1bn purchase would add significantly to Starling’s loan book and, if well-managed, could be a boost to its valuation, which currently sits at £1.1bn following a £272m investment earlier this year.

At the time of the acquisition, Starling’s CEO and founder Anne Boden commented that the purchase was “the start of our move into mortgages as an asset class,” with Starling having primarily focused on SME lending up until now. 

Starling is already on track to record its first annual profit, but the mortgage portfolios could help push it further over the line.

As well as pushing into the world of mortgages, Starling is looking to rival the high street banks in other sectors too.

Already a standout of the fintech sector during the pandemic, Boden has set her sights on challenging the likes of Barclays with its SME lending.

Starling has around a six per cent share of the business banking market here in the UK, while Barclays currently has around 15 per cent—a gap that closing is already “in our sights,” according to Boden.

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