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Chase moves into UK with launch of digital bank

Britain bound: Chase will launch in the UK

US bank Chase is set to disrupt Britain’s financial services sector by launching a digital bank in the UK.

It is the first foray into retail banking outside North America by one of the United States’ biggest lenders will put pressure on domestic players such as Lloyds, Barclays, NatWest and HSBC which are already battling low interest rates and homegrown digital rivals such as Starling, Atom and Revolut.

Sanoke Viswanathan, chief executive of the new Chase bank venture, said: “We have been watching in which markets customers are really ready to do their banking primarily through digital channels, and the UK frankly leads the way in this respect.”

If successful the bank could expand into continental Europe and then globally, he said.

Chase is the US consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co, with $2.6 trillion in assets and operations worldwide.

The bank serves nearly half of America’s households with a broad range of financial services, including personal banking, credit cards, mortgages, auto financing, investment advice, small business loans and payment processing.

Laura Suter, head of personal finance at AJ Bell, said: “The last US banking giant to venture into the UK retail banking market was Goldman Sachs with Marcus three years ago, and it sparked a shake-up of the savings market and a rates war that benefitted savers – which means many will have high hopes for this new offering from across the pond.

“First impressions are that this new account will blow the competition out of the water, with an attractive cashback deal and a market-beating interest rate on its savings feature.

“There will be some drawbacks for the account for some customers, as it doesn’t have any bank branches, all the help and customer support is online or on the phone, and it must be run from an app.

“What’s more, some people might be wary of the name as it’s new to the UK market, although has a long history in the US.”

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