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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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The narrator makes it sound patronising at times

Easy listening sometimes a little basic or obvious

The narrator makes it sound patronising at times

1 person found this helpful

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A few interesting bits but mostly boring

It starts off slowly, has an interesting bit in the middle then goes back to boring. The book exaggerates the role impact of the bank on the market. Rather than disruption it's more an incremental change. The business model remains largely the same but offering an improved CX. Boden obviously deserves praise for starting a bank but it's certainly not FinTech. The book compares poorly with other autobiographical business book such as Shoe Dog, Lost and Founder, Chaos Monkeys etc. Pity I really wanted it to be good.

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Excellent story!

Gripping and inspirational. A must for all entrepreneurs and people wanting to working in early stage start ups - either your own or someone else’s.

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  • CL
  • 08-06-22

Banking on It, what an inspirational book!

Really inspirational book, Anne Boden is a real inspiration! Absolutely fascinating, who knew a book about banking could be so great!!

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Great story

Really interesting to hear the honest account of the beef with Monzo and the departure of the management team at that time.

Story complemented by excellent narration. A definite recommendation!

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Interesting story - crappy reader

Interesting backstory to starling if you can ignore the readers patronising tone and over articulation.

Puts a clear perspective to the Starling/Monzo fued. Worth enduring 😀

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half way great after that just about bearable

this is a good book up to a point but then it all becomes about office politics and really nothing worthwhile.

it also feels that the book is is actually an attempt to set the record straight and try and tell the world to the behaviour about one of the earlier business partners and his behaviour in the whole Saga.

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Inspiring story

Inspiring story for all want to be entrepreneurs.

A must read for anyone who has a dream to start their own business especially women.

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The Last Woman Standing1

What a story Anne! I cried, laughed, cried, cursed and was totally amazed. Anne is a fierce force! Really amazing to hear the history of Starling. What is even more amazing, is the fact that Anne didn't bullshit around the pains of raising capital and how she almost lost it all. Many founders only want to pain the good side of entrepreneurship, but Anne told it as it is.

Very sad how things unfolded with the first team, but she lived to tell the story. The pure grit, hard work, focus and perseverance really shows in this book.

It only takes one person with a crazy idea, and one person with a check to believe in the crazy idea, for innovation and disruption to happen.

Absolutely brilliant! Kudos to Anne and her team at Starling.

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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.