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Is JPMorgan Chase Eyeing a British Challenger Bank?

By Bram Berkowitz - Dec 2, 2020 at 3:59PM

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Rumors have it that JPMorgan Chase will launch a digital bank in the UK next year.

JPMorgan Chase ( JPM 2.08% ) is considering buying a British challenger bank to jump-start the launch of its own digital banking efforts in the U.K., The Times of London recently reported .

The bank being considered is called Starling Bank, which is known as a challenger bank because it is a smaller and relatively newer bank that intends to compete with the more established brands, often by focusing on underserved populations.

Launched in 2014, Starling has raised hundreds of millions of dollars in private funding, and has acquired 1.8 million customers and roughly 4 billion British pounds in deposits.

A row of machines in a JPMorgan Chase bank.

Image source: JPMorgan Chase.

The bank is all digital and offers an array of products, including personal accounts, business banking accounts, and traders accounts specifically for keeping track of investments.

Recently, Starling reported that it is the first of the British challenger banks to break even and expects to be profitable going forward .

JPMorgan is apparently not the only bank eyeing Starling, as The Times of London also reported that Lloyds Banking Group (NYSE: LYG) has expressed interest as well.

The British news channel Sky News reported earlier this year that JPMorgan is planning to roll out a digital bank in the U.K. in the early months of 2021 .

Other American banks have also launched digital banks in the U.K. Notably, Goldman Sachs ( GS 2.15% ) launched its digital arm Marcus in the U.K. in 2018 and has seen great success, acquiring 500,000 accounts and $27 billion in deposits.

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Stocks Mentioned

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Stock Quote
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
GS
$390.96 (2.15%) $8.23
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Stock Quote
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPM
$161.59 (2.08%) $3.29
Lloyds Banking Group plc Stock Quote
Lloyds Banking Group plc
LYG
$2.42 (0.21%) $0.01

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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