JPMorgan’s UK digital retail bank adds more than a million customers in a year

JPMorgan Chase’s UK app-based retail bank has already amassed 1.6 million customers and a total of £15bn in deposits following its 2021 launch.

The latest figures are a significant increase on this time last year when the bank, known as Chase UK, reported 500,000 customers and £8bn in deposits.

Sanjiv Somani, CEO at the bank which was launched into the UK in September 2021, said: “We’re pleased that consumers have responded so positively to our offer and are increasingly using Chase for a broader range of their banking needs.”

Chase UK, which is based in Canary Wharf in London, plans to broaden its financial product offering via the app. For example, the bank acquired UK online investment firm Nutmeg in 2021 and hopes to integrate its investment products into the Chase UK app along with other services.

“Our intention is to offer a full suite of banking products over time – including fully integrating the Nutmeg investment products into the Chase app – creating a one-stop-shop for customers to spend, save, invest or borrow with Chase.”

Traditional banks such as JPMorgan Chase have deep pockets and can enter the digital challenger sector with a long-term plan. It is not the first US banking giant to launch a digital retail bank in the UK. In 2018, Goldman Sachs launched an online bank in the UK, known as Marcus, which offers savings accounts to consumers, whereas the bank is traditionally focused on institutional investors.

Chase UK is in good company in the UK which has been a successful location for app-based banks. Starling and Zopa two fast-growing examples, which unlike Chase UK emanate from the fintech startup sector.

Zopa, which began life as a peer-to-peer lender has been a bank for two and a half years, has around one million customers and around £3.5bn in deposits. It started off focused on savings and borrowing, but is expanding into areas such as BNPL where it recently acquired fintech DivideBuy.

Meanwhile, Starling bank, which received a banking licence in 2016, was the first consumer facing digital challenger bank in the UK to hit profitability. It now has 2.7 million customers and more than £10bn in deposits.

Although there is currently a downturn in capital going into the fintech sector due to global economic slowdown, digital banks are attracting customers who are looking for alternative banking services as a result of the effects of the same global factors. The current financial struggles of people across the world could spur further adoption of financial apps, just as the Covid-19 pandemic did, but for different reasons.

A recent survey by open banking technology supplier Tink found that over a third (35%) of people who are struggling financially during the current cost-of-living crisis would change their bank account provider if it meant they could access tailored financial support. It also found that 46% of Brits are already “only just managing” to pay for essentials and fear they will not be able to do so in the future.

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