JP Morgan’s Chase: ‘We haven’t entered the market just to be a small challenger’
JP Morgan’s digital challenger bank Chase has set its sights on becoming a major retail bank in the UK, even if it costs a lot, a top executive at the bank told City A.M.
Shaun Port, managing director for everyday banking at Chase, said: “We haven’t entered the market just to be a small challenger.”
“We believe we can offer an alternative to the main high street banks… I think there is an opportunity in the UK market to offer a really compelling proposition,” Port said.
Chase has been trying to muscle its way into British retail banking market since in it launched in the UK in 2021.
In September last year, it announced it had racked up one million customers and £10bn in deposits within a year, and it currently plans to double its 1,000 strong UK workforce by the end of 2024.
While most challenger banks have failed to “cross the Rubicon” of becoming the primary bank for a large majority of customers, this is what Chase wants to achieve despite the likelihood of hefty costs.
Chase has previously said it does not expect to break even until 2027-2028, and warned that losses could top $1bn this year following its push into the UK.
But Port said the losses are “a strategic investment in a business which has significant growth potential” suggesting it “underlines our commitment to creating a full-service bank here in the UK.”
Port is confident, however, that Chase will succeed where others have failed, arguing that JP Morgan’s “fortress balance sheet” and name recognition will help inspire confidence and trust in the digital lender – something that can take other challenger banks years to build.
“We believe that a significant factor in Chase’s offer is that you can trust JPMorgan Chase to look after your money and to be here whatever the weather,” he said.
JP Morgan has also been able to build Chase from a “technology first perspective”, he said, enabling it to offer customers simpler features.
Port said Chase is unlikely to break the trend on physical branches, adding that there were “no plans” to open a physical branch, although it would keep “an open mind”.
“If there is an unmet customer need that we can serve with a physical presence, then we will consider it,” he said.