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JPMorgan Chase buys robo-adviser Nutmeg ahead of UK banking launch


The biggest US bank is ramping up its plans to expand in the United Kingdom.

JPMorgan Chase announced Thursday that it’s buying Nutmeg, the UK digital wealth manager, for an undisclosed amount. It said the new acquisition will “complement” the digital bank that it’s planning to launch in the country later this year under the Chase brand.

“We are building Chase in the UK from scratch using the very latest technology and putting the customer’s experience at the heart of our offering, principles that Nutmeg shares with us,” Sanoke Viswanathan, head of JPMorgan’s international consumer business, said in a statement.

Nutmeg, which launched in 2012, has more than 140,000 customers and £3.5 billion ($4.9 billion) in assets under management. The robo-adviser offers a range of investment products, including pension accounts. Many rely on automated technology to provide financial planning services.

JPMorgan is putting tech at the center of its efforts to push its way into the crowded UK retail banking market, which is dominated by established players including Lloyds Bank, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays.

It will also be competing with newcomers like Monzo, an app-based bank, and Goldman Sachs, which began offering savings accounts to Brits in 2018 via its Marcus retail banking brand.

The US investment bank has launched an app for Marcus customers in the United Kingdom, and will move ahead with a robo-adviser early next year. Pivoting to wealth management will allow it to avoid having to establish a separate UK-registered bank once deposits pass the £25 billion ($34.9 billion) threshold.

Goldman Sachs previously invested in Nutmeg. Other shareholders include Convoy, a financial advisory firm based in Hong Kong and asset manager Schroders.

Article Topic Follows: Biz/Tech

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