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JP Morgan set to challenge the challengers with 2021 UK bank launch

The investment bank looks set to vie for a slice of the digital banking pie early next year.

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Chase Bank

American banking giant JP Morgan is reportedly gearing up to launch its own fully digital bank under the Chase brand in the first quarter of 2021, according to Sky News.

It was alleged back in February, that JP Morgan was looking to launch a bank in the UK at some point in 2020 after abandoning Finn, its US mobile bank in June 2019. 

It’s said the bank has finally chosen to launch a UK digital bank to take advantage of the seismic shift away from branch-based banking that the UK has experienced as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.  

JP Morgan will launch the bank under its Chase brand, which is a household name in its native US with over 51m customers and deposits of over $700bn, but remains little-known in the UK. 

David Brear, group CEO of financial consultancy group 11:FS, told AltFi: "It's super interesting to see JP Morgan Chase come to UK shores. Amid Brexit and everything that comes with that, could this little island be worth all the effort purely for the financial reward? I doubt it."

"The UK is no stranger to challengers from incumbents coming and going, with Bo from Natwest being closed less than 6 months after being opened last year. It’s going to be interesting to see what they have learned from the failure of Finn and whether or not they have resolved those lessons going into this."

The digital bank won’t be the first new challenger to have been launched by a US banking giant.  

Back in 2018, Goldman Sachs brought its digital offering Marcus to the UK and has since amassed over 500,000 customers who have deposited more than £21bn in its savings accounts. 

In the UK, JP Morgan’s challenger will face tough competition from homegrown digital banks such as Starling,Monzo and Revolut, who collectively have nearly 17m customers in the UK alone. 

Despite the buzz around the supposed challenger launch, JP Morgan is still yet to publicly confirm the existence of its plans. 

UPdate 24-98-2020 - Article was amended to include an updated quote from David Brear, group CEO of 11:FS.

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