The UK Gears Up for a New Digital Bank Courtesy of JP Morgan
JP Morgan, a Wall Street company, is set to launch a new digital bank in the UK and with it comes hundreds to thousands of jobs. The move is expected to shake up the UK banking sector, which is primarily dominated by High Street lenders.
The new bank’s headquarters is set to be in Canary Wharf and around 400 people have already been hired on as staff. It will operate under the consumer brand, Chase, which had to keep the project under wraps for nearly 2 years. This will be the second major US lender to participate in the UK banking market since Goldman Sachs entered in 2018.
Chase plans to offer strictly online-only accounts here in the UK. This means the bank will go up against the likes of Monzo, Starling and Revolut, which are competing with England’s largest lenders. HSBC, Lloyds, Santander, Barclays, NatWest and Nationwide Building Society already occupy roughly 87% of the entire UK banking market. JP Morgan has stated that they wanted to offer a “new take” on current accounts. They also said they planned to make their Edinburg centre a key selling point – a place where you can have “fast access, personalized service around the clock”. The banking platform is undergoing internal testing as we speak, with plans to launch later this year.
Co-president of JP Morgan, Gordon Smith, added that “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”. In order to do this, Chase has included seasoned UK bankers to supervise all operations, such as former Lloyds chairman, Win Bischoff, and former Financial Conduct Authority director, Clive Adamson. The Chase brand now also employs about 19,000 people in Britain and is still hiring for the new retail operation.
It is clear that JP Morgan plans to start out strong in the UK. As Daniel Pinto, JP Morgan’s London-based co-president said: “This new endeavour underscores our commitment to a country where we have deep roots, thousands of employees and offices established for over 160 years.”
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