Gareth Thomas started his first business at 14, building websites for clients from his parents’ attic. At 21, he co-founded Reserve, one of the most successful holiday apartment agencies in Scotland. Today, he is the director of Clarified, passing on lessons learned to other small businesses. Gareth, 32, is also the single foster carer to three children.
He first heard about Starling at an event in Cardiff where our founder and CEO Anne Boden was speaking. He later looked into challenger banks and chose Starling when he found that it was the only one to offer both personal and business accounts from the same app. “It suits me down to the ground,” he says. “I jumped at the chance and couldn’t believe how slick the process was to sign up. In comparison to other banking apps, Starling is on another planet,” he says. “I’m recommending it to anyone and everyone that I meet.”
Ash Phillips, like Gareth, “fell out of love with high street banks. One of the things that really bugged me is that whenever I had a requirement on anything I had to go through my business bank manager and whenever he went away, it strangled the process - there was no efficiency, it was just crazy.” Ash, 28, is the founder and director of Yena, a membership organisation for startups that runs more than 100 events a year.
Ash was an early adopter of the Starling personal account and signed up for a Starling business account soon after they were launched. He used Starling when Yena was running an event in Rome. “I recently used Starling for travel expenses in Italy,” he says. “It was great to see what I spent and no fees abroad was awesome for me. Plus in Rome I wasn’t wandering around with cash - I could use the card for everything, and if the card had been lost or stolen, I could lock it from the app.”