JPMorgan buys UK digital wealth manager Nutmeg

The American lender's digital bank Chase will be launched in the UK later this year

JPMorgan Chase & Co agreed to buy UK digital wealth manager Nutmeg Saving and Investment as it seeks to expand its mobile banking service for retail investors in the country.

Nutmeg has more than 140,000 customers and manages over £3.5 billion ($4.9bn) of assets, according to a statement from the US bank on Thursday. JPMorgan’s digital bank Chase will be launched in the UK later this year, it said.

The deal values Nutmeg at close to £700 million, according to people familiar with the matter. The US bank didn’t disclose how much it paid.

“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, chief executive, JPMorgan’s International Consumer division, said in the statement.

The UK digital move has been planned for more than two years as part of a closely-guarded project. The biggest US bank gets almost 50 per cent of its revenue from a consumer business that has operated only in the US, though the firm has long deliberated whether to bring its offerings to the rest of the world.

In the US, Chase offers a range of banking products to more than 56 million digital customers, according to Thursday’s statement.