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Questions over how Starling Bank handed out 15,000 Covid loans a month

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The online bank singled out by a former government minister over the effectiveness of its counter-fraud measures was “onboarding” an average of 15,000 new customers a month during the Covid crisis, according to analysis by the Observer.Figures from Starling Bank’s last annual report show the eight-year-old lender has grown its business customer base from 87,000 before the pandemic to 330,000 business accounts as of last spring.Banks are required by law to conduct rigorous checks on new customers in order to prevent fraud and money laundering.Analysis of the bank’s annual report, confirmed withStarling, show it took on up to 243,000 new customers – an average of more than 15,000 a month – between November 2019 and March 2021.

This was despite having just 1,245 staff, only a portion of which would have been checking for potential problems.The number of new accounts is much higher than for the UK’s biggest high street lenders.

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