In a major boost to the growing fintech sector in the Cardiff Capital Region, Starling Bank is investing in a new data science, fraud and customer service hub in the city.
The operation will allow Starling to maintain the growth of its business and personal banking platforms. It currently has 1.3 million accounts.
It looked at a number of city locations across the UK, before opting for Cardiff, in part because of its strong fintech sector. The investment is not receiving any financial support from the Welsh Government.
Starling, which was founded by its Swansea-born chief executive Anne Boden in 2014, has taken 14,000 sq ft of office space at Brunel House in the centre of Cardiff for its new hub, where it has space to accommodate further expansion.
The digital bank said it will recruit the 400 staff in the current calendar year, but plans to continue to recruit beyond that.
Last year digital bank Monzo confirmed it was investing in a new customer service operation in Cardiff creating up to 300 jobs, while the city is also home to leading fintech firms such as Delio Wealth and Wealthify. It also has a number of high-growth tech firms including Amplyfi and DevOpsGroup.
Ms Boden said: “The Welsh tech sector is one of the fastest digital economies outside of London, and continues to grow. Cardiff is also a bright, dynamic and entrepreneurial city with a supportive ecosystem which we are looking to tap into as we continue to grow our business and personal accounts.
“We believe that London’s success as a fintech hub should enable it to spread wealth and jobs throughout the UK and the wider economy. That’s exactly what we’re doing with this office in Cardiff.”
Starling currently has a workforce of nearly 900 in London and Southampton and has twice won Best British Bank in the British Bank Awards.
Welcoming the investment Economy and Transport Minister, Ken Skates, said:“I am absolutely delighted to welcome Starling Bank to Wales.
“Our thriving ecosystem has seen a number of companies make the move to Wales following Welsh Government advice and support, and it’s fantastic Starling has decided to do the same, creating 400 new jobs with more to come.
“As a government, we can be rightly proud of our role in growing the financial and related professional services sector in what is a very competitive global business environment.”
Around 45,000 people are employed in the digital sector in Wales.
In January Starling announced it had raised a further £60m from its existing investors, Merian Global Investors and JTC, to support its expansion plans.
The bank has also confirmed it will award equity to all employees, allowing everyone in the company to share directly in its success.