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Inside JPMorgan’s bid to build a global retail bank

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Photo: Getty

JPMorgan Chase can be a winner in global digital retail banking according to Sanoke Viswanathan, the bank’s head of international consumer growth. With European expansion starting in the UK under the Chase brand and growth in Latin America through a stake in Brazil’s C6, Viswanathan insists his firm is in this for the long haul.

Sanoke Viswanathan is adamant that JPMorgan Chase’s new retail banking project won’t follow the same playbook as other digital offshoots of the big banks, which launch with great fanfare only to wither away and disappear after a few years. Nor is the new UK entity just a testing site for technology that the firm can deploy back home in defending Chase, its core US consumer business, from tech-focused challengers there.

“It’s not an experiment, it’s a commitment,” Viswanathan insists, describing an incipient global retail banking franchise outside the US – purely digital and led by him.

Of course the group’s main advantage in doing this is the reputational and financial firepower that comes with being the world’s biggest bank by market capitalization. Nevertheless, the precedent for consumer banking expansion abroad – by traditional or digital means – is not uniformly encouraging. This year’s exits from retail in Asia Pacific by Citi and in the US by HSBC are recent testament to that.

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Dominic O’Neill is EMEA editor. He joined Euromoney in 2007 to cover emerging markets, focusing on central and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and later on Latin America. Based in London, he has covered developed market banking since 2015.
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