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JP Morgan Chase to take on UK retail banks with digital launch

JP Morgan Edinburgh

New personal bank expected from New York bank (pic: Terry Murden)

Wall Street giant JP Morgan Chase, the world’s biggest bank by market value, is to take on Britain’s retail banks by launching a range of consumer services.

The bank will operate a digital bank for personal customers under the Chase brand.

It will launch a range of savings and loan products the UK in the next few months.

The move, reported by Sky News, could be confirmed at an investor day this week and will represent a major intervention into the market following the launch in recent years of Metro Bank and new digital brands.

In 2018 Goldman Sachs launched Marcus which has a more limited range of products.

Revolut, chaired by outgoing Standard Life Aberdeen vice chairman Martin Gilbert, is raising $500m (£381m) in equity that is being led by Technology Crossover Ventures.

The funding round, which is being accompanied by a $1bn (£760m) convertible loan, will give Revolut an initial valuation of £4.2bn.

Monzo, another digital player, is finalising a further fundraising that will value the company at well over £2bn, while Starling Bank has just received a £60m equity injection from shareholders.

City regulators are said to be close to approving JP Morgan’s plans and the bank could launch this year.

Its fourth-quarter earnings showed that Chase had an average deposit base of $708bn (£540bn).

It was unclear whether the bank planned to enter the fiercely competitive UK mortgage market.

In the US, JPMorgan has more than 50 million digital banking customers. However, it has faced setbacks in its digital expansion strategy, announcing last year that it was closing Finn, its online-only brand, after poor take-up from consumers.

TechCrunch, the technology news website, reported last summer that JPMorgan was working on a digital banking project in London. The bank has been recruiting staff to work on the project.

JP Morgan’s new digital bank has been developed by 10x Future Technologies, set up in 2016 by former Barclays boss Antony Jenkins.

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