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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

I surprised myself the first time I fully articulated the words 'I'm starting a bank'.

Banking on It is the firsthand account of one woman's quest to rebuild Britain's broken banking system.

After a lengthy career at the top of some of Britain's leading banks, Anne Boden had become disillusioned with the status quo - the financial crash had broken trust in the whole sector, but there seemed to be little appetite to make the most of emerging technologies to revolutionise customer experience. Increasingly frustrated with the inertia within the industry, she decided to shake things up herself by doing something totally radical - setting up her own bank.

In this awe-inspiring story, Anne reveals how she broke through bureaucracy, tackled prejudice and successfully countered widespread suspicion to realise her vision for the future of consumer banking. She fulfilled that dream by founding Starling, the winner of Best British Bank at the British Bank Awards in 2018, 2019 and 2020, and in doing so has triggered a new movement that is revolutionising the entire banking industry.

©2020 Anne Boden (P)2020 Penguin Audio

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Captivating! - a transport of delight

What a masterstroke of Anne Boden to get Janine Cooper Marshall to be the narrator voice in telling her tale of how Starling Bank came into being. The rhythmic inflection with strong and weak stress on alternating syllables of the “classic” Welsh accent places the listener deep within the story from the first moments of the taxi driver and that journey in Dublin. Instead of a strident story of doing battle with institutions and cartels "Banking on it" is a tale of hope learnt from experience, of envisaging things that never were and saying "Why Not?" rather than seeing things as they are and saying "Why?" Anne was open to new ways of working, new technologies, new opportunities. But unlike many of her rivals in the FinTech space she remained an ethical banker of thirty years standing - someone who knows that the core elements of banking must be build upon trust between the banker and the customer. Her timing to open a bank without physical branches could not have been better. Digital payment volumes are surging as Covid-19 lockdowns worldwide prompt consumers to do more shopping online. Sensible bankers know that customers do not want to pay for premium accounts with perks like metal cards; they want well designed and tested services which are secure, transparent and scalable. But how you build such a bank using the crooked timber of humanity is a story worth telling - and Anne, with Janine's narration. tells it well.

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Great story!

Great to hear the ups and downs Anne and Starling have faced over the past 6 years! Really interesting to see how far banking has come.

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The perfect present for an entrepreneur!

As a female entrepreneur sitting in a space full of men, with the same moral code, focused on exceptional customer service, journey and intuitive tech, I instinctively related to Anne's journey. The roller coaster is a little too exilirating for me, however, I was there twisting at every turn, at the edge of my seat on the dips and the cheers on the lifts. I really enjoyed this book as I enjoyed the series silicone valley. More so as this is real and that I had heard of the bank from multiple sources at the beginning of 2020. More so as this is an entrepreneur aligned to my thinking and working with a collaborative approach. Some good pearls of business wisdom are interlaced with a truly entertaining story. An almost must for a female entrepreneur with big ideas, this story will also warn you about the wolves in the woods, what to expect and how to deal with them. How to stay true to yourself and find your voice. How to use your disadvantages to your advantage. How to stay focused on the horizon as the waves crash around you. How you learn all this as you go along, you find the strength as you progress.

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Anne owes me a nights sleep

Probably the best business autobiography I’ve listened to. I put the book on around 9pm just for an hour to relax. I ended up staying awake and listening to the whole recording. It was excellent. Anne’s journey is an inspiration and we all have a lot to learn from it. A brilliant book, well written and well read.

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Pretty good, but not rag to riches

This was pretty interesting, but the situation would be very hard for most entrepreneurs to replicate. This was not a rag to riches story, more like a riches to riches story. It reminded me of the IT Crowd where the boss said "I started this company just with the shirt on my back and six million in the bank". Her previous job "only" paid 500k PA. The people she met knew the PM, or Sir somebody or some other CEO. Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of barriers and interesting things to overcome but it's certainly not someone in a garage starting from scratch. Still, worth a listen, even if it's just to discover how out of touch and behind the times most C-level bankers/leaders are. Fintech - what's that?

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Best book I've read in a while

Absolutely amazing story. This book is a story of pure resilience. Where most founders would have quit, Anne pushed on. Future founders, you need to read this.

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Inspirational - Brains, Courage & Grit

A fantastic listen for everyone, especially entrepreneurs. This is beautiful written and narrated. Anne Boden shows what can happen when you have the courage to follow your dreams. Certainly not a smooth ride, Anne shows us you can dust yourself off after near failure and if you have the drive and determination to continue, it is possible to overcome the odds and succeed. To take on the juggernaut of the banking industry with very limited resources shows what can be achieved when you believe a better solution is possible. Anne Boden is a true inspiration to all. In a world dominated by young entrepreneurs, Anne has the courage to question the status quo of the banking system and the brains and belief to bring it to life. It would be easy to think she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth or had come from floating a previous fintech success (or at least learned from previous failures). The truth is that her grit, accumulated knowledge of the banking industry and determination to be customer centric was foundation to Starling Bank's success. Anne Boden is a rare human being with traits similar to that of Walt Disney or Colonel Sanders. When people laughed and said it couldn't be done, she persevered, putting everything on the line and overcame the odds. Well done Anne.

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Brilliant story on the creation of Starling

Although working in finance you hear some horror stories about fintechs, it was great to listen to Anne's articulation. Ive always viewed Starling as a fintech that does things 'properly' and this just emphasises my views. Anne has created a great product and more importantly ensured that it was created in the right way. Starling is certainly a fintech with 'trust' built in.

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Part memoir, part thriller, part business book

An entertaining listen. I wasn't sure how some of the early foreshadowing was going to turn out, but I'm glad it didn't turn spiteful and showed the real nature of building a business.

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An amazing book

An amazing book written by an amazing Welsh entrepreneur This book is really worth a read if you are an entrepreneur that wants to challenge your thinking disrupt your industry and overall get inspired

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  • Aditya Pipersenia
  • 12-01-21

Tale of sheer perseverance

Loved the story of Starling. Can only imagine how easy would have been for Anne to just give up and move on in the face of one adversity after another. Kudos to her perseverance and doggedness to not give up.