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JP Morgan finally puts launch date on digital bank Chase

New customers will be able to download the Chase app and open a current account from Tuesday.

a bicycle parked in front of a store

Chase Bank.

The world of digital banking has been waiting with bated breath for the launch of JP Morgan’s Chase bank here in the UK.

JP Morgan has (finally) put a date on the digital banking app’s launch, with Chase set to hit app stores on Tuesday. 

Under the US bank’s retail banking brand, customers will be able to open current accounts with a rewards programme initially and will later expand into savings, loans and other financial products.

“This is a very big strategic commitment from the firm’s standpoint,” Sanoke Viswanathan, head of JP Morgan’s newly formed ‘international consumer’ division, told the Financial Times.

“We will spend hundreds of millions before we get to break even and get to a place where this is a sustainable business, and we’re not in a rush.”

Viswanathan also said that once the Chase brand is a big player in the UK digital banking scene, he will look to the brand into Europe and Latin America.

The news of JP Morgan Chase’s launch comes just a few months after the US bank revealed that it entered into an agreement to acquire digital wealth managerNutmeg for an undisclosed amount

Rumours first started to swirl that the US bank would be bringing its flagship product over to the UK all the way back in February 2020, just months after it abandoned its Finn digital banking service in the US.

The UK has a very crowded digital banking market, with Chase having to square up to digital banking stalwarts like Monzo,Revolut and Starling Bank—all of which have amassed millions of customers over several years in the sector.

JP Morgan is hoping to prosper in a sector where other non-UK digital banks have failed.

In February last year, German digital bank N26 exited the UK, blaming the decision on Brexit and not the measly 200,000 accounts it amassed in the year and a half it spent here in the UK.

Similarly, Finnish SME-focussed challenger Holvi left the UK market in August 2020, citing Brexit and Covid-19 uncertainty.

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