StanChart partners Starling for sustainable investment platform

Standard Chartered Bank has co-opted the help of Starling Bank to build a new digital platform that will help savers in the UK invest in sustainability projects.

SC Ventures, StanChart’s innovation arm, said that the Shoal digital platform will launch in 2022 and will offer exclusively green and sustainable investment opportunities.

The first offering on the Shoal marketplace, built using Starling’s Banking as a Service (Baas) offering will be a savings account.

Customers will be invited to select from a shortlist of options such as renewable energy, clean water, and community development.

Once they have chosen a theme or combination of themes to support, their money will be used exclusively to fund projects aligned with those themes.

StanChart said that Shoal signifies a “major development” in the UK banking sector, combining Standard Chartered’s focus on sustainability with Starling Bank’s digital capabilities.

Starling will add Shoal to its in-app marketplace “in due course”, the partners said, which will enable Starling customers to access the sustainable investment platform.

StanChart said it also plans to extend Shoal into Europe as part of the broader strategy for the partnership.

As part of the partnership, StanChart was able to use Starling’s technology and API’s to facilitate payments instantly into Shoal’s sustainable savings funds.
With Starling’s banking licence all accounts will be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

StanChart said this model enables Shoal to focus on customer acquisition and service and delivers a front-end app with a superior user experience, while Starling ‘powers’ the overall solution.

Anne Boden, chief executive and founder of Starling Bank, commented: “At Starling Bank we’re making banking better. That is why we are pleased to deploy Starling’s Banking as a Service proposition in partnership with Standard Chartered to help their customers live ever more sustainably. Starling will handle the technical and regulatory demands behind the scenes, leaving Shoal to take care of their customers.”

Alex Manson of SC Ventures, said: “Sustainability is one of the high conviction themes for SC Ventures as we explore different business models. With Shoal, we are creating a new venture to address the growing need of retail clients for sustainable financial and non-financial products, starting with UK and expanding to other markets over time.”

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