JP Morgan to launch UK digital bank under Chase brand

via AltFi

Just months after abandoning its Finn digital banking service in the US, JP Morgan is reportedly working on launching a new digital bank in the UK.

The news, first reported by Sky News, is a spectacular about-turn for the banking titan which pulled the plug on Finn after accruing less than 50,000 US customers.

Its UK plans mark the bank’s first consumer play in this geography, and will require JP Morgan to build its Chase brand relatively from scratch.

In the US Chase is a broad consumer brand with more than 51m customers using its digital banking services and deposits of over $700bn.

According to Sky the launch “in the next few months” will see JP Morgan introduce a current account, savings, and a range of open banking services and lending products.

The move also comes just weeks after European digital banking giant N26 retreated from the UK, officially blaming Brexit, but with many pointing out that N26 had failed to gain traction in the UK’s increasingly competitive digital banking market.

Chase in the UK will face competition both from incumbent banks, digital challengers like Monzo, Starling and Revolut, and “flanker” banks like Bó.

Once launched it will mean that two of the largest financial institutions in the US, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, both have consumer offerings in the UK, with Goldman Sachs having seen great success with its Marcus brand since 2018.

“By moving to the UK where they have no retail operations allows JP Morgan Chase to really rethink the things that matter most,” said 11:FS group CEO David Brear on the news, adding that the project “isn’t about another challenger bank but the future of JPMC”.

Whether or not JP Morgan’s future in the UK is bright, we’ll have to wait and see.