David Sproul is former senior partner of Deloitte UK

Credit: Starling Bank

Starling Bank will tap Deloitte’s former UK boss as its new chairman as the challenger bank gears up for a float as soon as next year.

The challenger bank has appointed City veteran David Sproul, the former senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte UK, who has joined its board of directors and will take up the role of chairman from October 1, The Telegraph can disclose.

Mr Sproul spent nearly two decades in senior leadership roles at Deloitte, served as its UK senior partner for eight years and was its global deputy chief executive until May this year.

He replaces Oliver Stocken who has been Starling’s chairman for six years and steps down from the board later this year.

The appointment comes as Starling gears up for a listing, which is understood to be planned for the end of 2022 or early 2023. While the bank has yet to decide on a venue, London is understood to be the most likely destination.

It recently raised £272m at a £1.1bn valuation, giving it “unicorn” status. 

Starling has said it has been profitable since October last year and had deposits of £5.4bn and a loan book worth £2bn as of March.

The bank had previously raised funds from Bahamas-based billionaire Harald McPike, who has been its main backer since Anne Boden, a former banker at Allied Irish, set it up in 2014. 

Anne Boden, Starling Bank chief executive and founder

In March, Starling raised further funds from Fidelity, the Qatar Investment Authority, and the £31bn railways pension fund.

Mr Sproul spent 30 years in accountancy before stepping down from Deloitte in May.

He said: “Starling is a genuine and successful disruptor, building a new kind of bank and supporting its retail and small business customers in truly innovative ways. I’m delighted to be joining at this key point in its development and look forward to supporting Anne and her team in achieving Starling’s next goals.”

Ms Boden, chief executive of Starling, said: “David’s extensive business advisory experience will be invaluable to Starling as we continue to execute the next steps of our strategy, including a targeted expansion of Starling’s lending in the UK, a move into Europe, anticipated M&A activity and more.

“I would like to thank Oliver Stocken for his enormous contribution to Starling, guiding the company as we gained our banking licence and became profitable.”