Starling Bank looks to OVO Energy for new group CEO

12 Mar 2024

UK-based digital bank Starling Bank has appointed OVO Energy chief executive officer Raman Bhatia as its new group chief executive officer.

Bhatia will take over from interim chief executive officer John Mountain, who has been leading the bank since founder Anne Boden stepped back from the role last year.

Subject to regulatory approval, Bhatia is expected to step into his new role at Starling in early Summer.

Raman Bhatia, incoming group CEO of Starling Bank

Bhatia brings a wealth of experience in consumer tech and fintech, and currently serves as the chief executive officer of OVO Energy, a technology-enabled energy retailer in the UK.

Prior to this, he was the head of digital bank for HSBC’s Retail Banking and Wealth Management business in the UK and Europe, as well as being a member of its executive committee, with responsibility for HSBC, First Direct and M&S Bank.

The appointment of Bhatia is seen as a significant development for Starling Bank, with his expertise in navigating disruptive digital brands through periods of change.

David Sproul, chair of Starling Bank, 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.”

Boden said that, in Bhatia, the bank has “found someone who can take Starling into its next phase of growth while cherishing the culture and values we have worked so hard to instil in everything we do”.

Bhatia added: “Starling is a company I have long admired because it believes passionately, like I do, in using the power of technology to do the right thing for its customers and its people. I can’t wait to get started and to see what we can achieve together.”

At the end of last year, global digital transformation specialist GFT partnered with Starling Bank on its Software-as-a-Service business Engine by Starling.