JPMorgan to launch digital bank in UK next week

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Signage outside a branch of Chase Bank in San Francisco, California on Monday, July 12, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

LONDON – JPMorgan Chase is preparing to launch its highly anticipated digital bank in the UK next week.

The move will see the US banking giant take on major UK lenders, including HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds and NatWest, as well as start-ups like Monzo and Starling.

JPMorgan will also intensify its rivalry with Goldman Sachs, which launched its digital banking product Marcus in the UK in 2018.

New York-based JPMorgan first revealed plans to launch its Chase brand in the UK earlier this year. Rather than establishing physical branches, JPMorgan will only offer its services through a mobile app.

This is the first international expansion of JPMorgan’s consumer banking brand in a 222-year history.

The news was originally reported by the Financial Times and later confirmed by CNBC.

Sanoke Viswanathan, CEO of JPMorgan’s international consumer division, said the bank’s expansion into the UK was a “very big strategic commitment”.

“We’re going to spend hundreds of millions before we break even and get to a place where this is a sustainable business, and we’re in no rush,” he told the FT. .

Chase will initially offer checking accounts as well as a rewards program. He also plans personal loans, investments and longer term mortgages.

The UK is home to an increasingly crowded retail banking market. Fintech-friendly regulations have allowed challengers like Monzo, Revolut, and Starling – which offer checking accounts and other services via smartphones – to thrive and grow into billion-dollar businesses.

These digital banks have won millions of customers among themselves, while some have even tried their luck by entering the US market. Revolut, which now has more than 15 million customers, was last valued at $ 33 billion, making it the UK’s most valuable tech start-up.

JPMorgan’s arrival in the UK will put additional pressure on the country’s traditional lenders. State-backed lender NatWest has notoriously tried and failed to take on fintech challengers with a competing digital bank called Bó.

Under the leadership of CEO Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan has sought to combat the threat from fintech stars like PayPal and Square through a number of acquisitions.

As part of its efforts to expand into the UK, the bank agreed to acquire online wealth manager Nutmeg in June. Later that month, he announced a deal to buy OpenInvest, a San Francisco-based ethical investing platform.

Earlier this month, JPMorgan announced plans to acquire a controlling stake in Volkswagen’s online payment unit.


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