The challenger maintains “an IPO is still in our sights.”

Just a week after Starling Bank announced it has reached profitability, and suitors are already reportedly queuing up.

According to The Times, JP Morgan and Lloyds Banking Group have both expressed interest respectively in the challenger bank.

JP Morgan is currently gearing up for a 2021 launch of its own UK digital bank, possibly under its Chase brand, which is little-known in the UK. A Starling takeover would give JP Morgan both a recognised and established brand along with 1.9m UK customers.

Lloyds, meanwhile, is reportedly interested in Starling from a technology point of view, with The Times reporting that Starling has recently opened a “data room” as part of an upcoming £200m funding round.

For the month of October Starling Bank turned an operating profit of £800,000, representing £10.1m on an annualised basis, on an operating income of £9m.

The figures have been buoyed by interest income from Starling’s strong growth in lending, particularly from government-backed lending schemes.

Whether or not a bid materialises from either JP Morgan or Lloyds, Starling Bank CEO Anne Boden has always maintained that an IPO has always been a longer-term aim for the bank.

When asked about the JP Morgan and Lloyds a spokesperson for Starling told AltFi: “Anne has always said she will never sell to a big bank. An IPO is still in our sights.”

source: Anne Boden/Starling Bank.

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