JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon confirmed for the first time Friday his bank’s plan to launch its digital platform, Chase, in Germany and other European countries.
The move, with a launch timeline of late 2024 or early 2025, had been rumored since at least February — and attributed to people familiar with the strategy.
“It has always been clear to us that we want to introduce Chase not only in the U.K., but also in Germany and other European countries,” Dimon told the German newspaper Handelsblatt on Friday, according to Reuters. “We have ambitious plans."
The time frame for the German launch is undecided, Dimon said. A spokesperson for JPMorgan declined to comment on the timing but confirmed the report to Reuters.
The development follows roughly two years after JPMorgan launched Chase in the U.K. The digital bank had amassed more than 1.6 million customers and roughly $19 billion in deposits by May 2023, a JPMorgan spokesperson told Banking Dive this week.
"In Germany, 'Chase' is not yet so well known, but worldwide it is a strong brand. We are also a trustworthy bank with a strong balance sheet — and private customers know that," Dimon told Handelsblatt.
The New York City-based bank had been hiring in Berlin and had planned to make the city its base for consumer operations in the European Union, Bloomberg reported in February.
JPMorgan has become one of the largest advisory banks in Germany in recent years, and it is targeting more medium-sized firms, the wire service reported.
While several U.S. banks have turned to Europe for stable returns in investment banking, retail banking is less steady.
Analysts at Germany’s largest lender, Deutsche Bank, questioned in a note last year why JPMorgan would want “to expand retail banking globally when other banks haven't been able to do so and the global regulatory burden is high,” according to Reuters.
Citi, for example, has laid out a plan to exit more than a dozen markets overseas. And Goldman Sachs, which launched a digital presence in the U.K. ahead of JPMorgan, is revamping its consumer-banking strategy.
Sanoke Viswanathan, chief executive of JPMorgan’s international growth initiatives, told investors last year the bank expected to lose $450 million on its U.K. consumer bank in 2022 and similar amounts “for the next few years.” But he showed optimism that JPMorgan’s foreign digital endeavor would break even by 2027 or 2028 and “generate significant income thereafter.”
“Historically, banks have struggled to do well in markets outside their home markets in retail banking. We think this is changing with digital,” Viswanathan said at the time.