Starling Bank boycotts Facebook and Instagram advertising


Digital bank

The CEO of neobank Starling has pulled ads from Facebook and Instagram in a scathing attack on his financial fraud control policies.

Image source: Anne Boden / Starling Bank

Starling Bank CEO Anne Boden has removed all paid ads from Facebook and Instagram over concerns about financial scams.

Boden, writing in a blog post last week, said that until social media giant Meta, the recently rebranded – owner of Facebook and Instagram – addresses fraudulent ads, it will stop using it as a channel. customer acquisition.

“It cannot be fair that these platforms profit from crime and yet remain outside the reach of the law,” she said.

“We want to protect our customers and the integrity of our brand. And we can no longer pay to advertise on a platform alongside scammers who prey on the savings of our customers and those of other banks, ”she added.

Big tech rival Google has said it will not accept ads from financial services from companies that have not proven to be authorized by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or unless they do not qualify for certain limited exemptions as in July 2021.

Boden says she welcomes the move and says that while Facebook and Instagram have also agreed to this, they have yet to follow through.

“Facebook (Meta) indicated in December that it would do something similar to Google to prevent fraudsters from advertising on its platform. It’s good news. We are still waiting to see when and how this initiative (from TechUK’s Online Fraud Steering Group) will unfold. In the meantime, we have stopped all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram, ”said Boden.

“I have repeatedly called on the big tech and social media giants for allowing financial fraudsters to advertise and post content on their platforms resulting in scams on their savings every day,” Boden said.

Like its rival Monzo, Starling Bank has shifted from word of mouth to increasingly mainstream advertising in recent years to gain new customers.

Starling Bank says it has opened more than 2.7 million accounts to date, including 475,000 accounts for UK SMEs and has a deposit base of £ 8.4 billion after huge growth in 2021, up from 4 , £ 8 billion a year ago. Its loans, meanwhile, rose from £ 1.9bn to £ 3.1bn.

Boden doesn’t seem too impressed with Facebook’s new strategy of harnessing the “metaverse” to drive future growth.

“While Facebook (Meta) may hold all kinds of promises for the future, I really hope its focus on the metaverse doesn’t become a distraction from doing what’s right today, here and now in the UK. from 2022. “

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