J.P. Morgan Is Preparing A Retail Banking Blitz In The U.K.

It looks like Jamie Dimon is already scheming up ways to crank up next year's bonus. First order of business: unleash a retail banking blitz in the U.K.

J.P. Morgan is preparing to expand its consumer business beyond the U.S. for the first time ever, starting with a digital-only retail bank in the U.K., according to a new BNN Bloomberg report. The bank is going to start by offering mobile checking accounts, which will then be followed by products like credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans. 

"The step marks the culmination of two years of planning as part of a project JPMorgan kept so closely guarded that even some executives were left wondering about the details," Bloomberg wrote. As of 2020, the bank gets about 50% of its revenue from its consumer business, which only operates in the U.S.

A J.P. Morgan spokesperson said:  “We want to provide customers with a new banking choice -- one that will enable them to benefit from a simple and exceptional banking experience, built on the significant capabilities of JPMorgan Chase.”

The project is code-named "dynamo" and will be led by Sanoke Viswanathan. The bank has already hired 400 people in the U.K., including engineers and customer service reps. The bank's digital project remains in testing with a small number of people. J.P. Morgan hopes that attracting deposits using a mobile-friendly platform will make it easier to familiarize new clients with the brand. 

In 2018, the bank experimented in the U.S. with a digital-only bank, a project they eventually abandoned. Dimon said: “We learned a lot, like how to do digital account openings only digital because when you do it out of a retail bank, you tend to rely on what you already have. You can open a Chase account now and never go into a branch.”

While the bank has had a corporate and investment bank presence overseas for more than 160 years, the first stages of the retail expansion could begin in the "coming months," according to the bank.

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