JPMorgan Chase launches digital bank in the UK

JPMorgan’s consumer bank Chase is set to launch in the UK

The JPMorgan Chase headquarters in New York.                                 
JPMorgan’s consumer bank Chase is set to launch in the UK. Photo: Shutterstock

JPMorgan Chase is making its first foray into the UK consumer banking scene with the launch of its new current account and financial services offering, Chase.

The digital-only lender will initially offer a 1% cashback reward for all debit card spending within the first year, and aims to add a broad range of products such as lending and investments.

Chase is the largest consumer bank in the US with more than 60 million users, while its parent company is the fourth largest bank in the world, with assets of $3.7trn and operations worldwide. It now aims to challenge the UK’s big four banks such as Barclays and Lloyds, as well as digital-only challengers, with its market dominance.

Adopting a challenger bank approach

Sanoke Viswanathan, CEO of the international division believes that the move will offer UK customers the opportunity to experience Chase with an account based on "simplicity, fuss-free rewards programme and exceptional customer service”.

Chase will offer a series of features to remain competitive, with some emulating the digital features brought out by UK challenger banks such as Monzo, Revolut and Starling Bank.

Similar to Monzo’s 'Pots' that were introduced in 2018, Chase will offer a ‘small-change round-up feature, which allows customers to round up their debit card purchases to the nearest £1 and deposit the small change into a savings account. This will allow them to earn interest at 5% for 12 months. 

It will also introduce fee-free debit card spending abroad so customers won’t be hit with hefty transaction fees when spending or withdrawing cash from ATMs. Customers are also able to customise their account for simplified money management and help people budget and save. 

Disrupting the financial ecosystem

JPMorgan Chase announced a deal in June to buy the UK digital wealth advisor startup Nutmeg with the aim of complementing the launch of its digital bank in the UK. 

Viswanathan told the Financial Times that JP Morgan would invest heavily to turn Chase into a serious force in the UK before potentially expanding into other countries in Europe and Latin America.

“Having spoken extensively to consumers across the U.K., we know that people want good value combined with an excellent experience, from a trusted bank. With cashback on everyday debit card spend and an interest boost on round-ups, we can help customers save while they spend on items they already buy every day,” said Viswanathan in a company announcement

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