JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) revealed many months ago its intent to launch a new digital bank in the UK. Today, there are reports the digital bank under the Chase brand will launch next week.
In January of 2021, JPM said it wanted to provide UK customers with a new banking choice in a market that is already teaming with digital only bank options. At that time, Gordon Smith, CEO of Consumer & Community Banking and co-President of JPMorgan Chase, said the “UK has a vibrant and highly competitive consumer banking marketplace, which is why we’ve designed the bank from scratch to specifically meet the needs of customers here.”
Sanoke Viswanathan was selected as CEO of the digital bank.
In an interview, Viswanathan said that current accounts on the digital app will be available as of next Tuesday with the intent to expand into lending and investment services later. A broader rollout across Europe is said to be in the works as well.
This past summer, JPM purchased the UK’s largest Robo-advisor Nutmeg thus positioning the Chase digital bank to offer investment services.
In many respects, the UK is ground zero for digital banking innovations. Long dominated by several large traditional banking firms, the UK has embraced Fintech innovation with a supportive regulatory regime and a sophisticated population. The UK is home to multiple digital banking brands like Revolut, Monzo, Starling, Zopa, and more. Goldman Sachs, a global investment bank based in the US, launched Marcus, a chartered national bank, in the US, and then crossed the Atlantic to the UK as its first international market.
JPM has said that when considering entry into the UK market, the firm conducted extensive research to identify where it could make an impact for consumers and meet their needs.
While digital banks in the UK have experienced rapid growth the odyssey has not been without a few hurdles along the way. But the thesis persists that digital banking on a smartphone is the future of personal financial services as the value, and the cost to maintain, of brick and mortar bank branch locations, diminishes.