JPMorgan Chase plans to launch a digital bank in the U.K. in the first quarter of 2021, Sky News reported Friday.
The British news channel said the launch would put the largest U.S. bank in a position to capitalize on the growth of digital services amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Sky News first reported in February that JPMorgan Chase was in talks with U.K. regulators to launch a range of savings and loan products in the country. However, rumors of the bank's plans to launch a digital bank in the U.K. have persisted since June 2019. JPMorgan Chase did not respond to Banking Dive’s request for comment by press time.
JPMorgan has reportedly already signed up its technology suppliers ahead of the digital bank’s planned launch next year.
Citing technology industry sources, Sky News said the bank signed suppliers including Amazon Web Services and 10x Future Technologies, a venture set up by former Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins, to provide its cloud and digital banking infrastructure.
The digital bank’s launch would come just months after the bank appointed former U.K. Chancellor Sajid Javid as a member of its advisory council for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Clive Adamson, a former executive at the U.K. regulator Financial Conduct Authority, is expected to chair the digital bank.
JPMorgan's digital bank would face competition in the new market from existing players Monzo, Starling and Revolut, as well as from Goldman Sachs, which launched its digital consumer bank, Marcus, in the U.K. in 2018.
Marcus, which has more than 500,000 customers in the U.K., attracted 50,000 customers in the two weeks following its launch, according to Finextra.
This wouldn't be the company’s first attempt to launch a digital-only bank. The New York-based bank launched Finn in 2018 before shuttering the app a year later, following disappointing user numbers.
"Many people pointed to an inability to get away from the mother ship's culture, governance operations, technology and it lacking any real differentiation as to why Finn was closed after only a year," David Brear, CEO of U.K. digital banking consultancy 11:FS, told Banking Dive in February. "Moving to the U.K., where they have no retail operations, allows JPMC to really rethink the things that matter most."