RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Europe

Weekly Global News Wrap: ECB sticks to dividend rules until September; JPMorgan to launch British digital bank 'within months'

And Germany's N26 mulls first-time acquisition.


The European Central Bank’s supervisory board will stick to its guidelines on dividend payouts until September assuming that the economy doesn’t get much worse in the coming months.

“I remain convinced this is the right stance in a moment of remaining uncertainty. And in a moment in which the ability of the banks, and of the supervisors, to have reliable projections on the capital path for the banks ahead is still very challenging,” ECB supervisory board chief Andrea Enria said.

The idea is that banks don’t use their capital to give back to investors and rather safeguard their positions. The more solid a bank’s capital position is, the better it will be able to absorb any potential losses. It will also be more likely to lend to firms and individuals — a priority during an economic recession.

From Reuters

JPMorgan will launch a digital consumer bank in Britain under its Chase brand within months, marking its first foray into an already competitive British market.

The new business has already recruited 400 people and will offer a range of products, including current accounts. The venture further ramps up competition in Britain’s digital banking sector, where it will compete with Goldman Sachs’ consumer brand Marcus which launched in Britain in 2018.

The new digital bank will also be competing with start-ups such as Starling and Monzo, which have made some headway in grabbing market share from Britain’s four largest banks.


German online bank N26 is considering making an acquisition for the first time after raising cash and cutting losses despite the pandemic.

The firm has raised a total of $800m to date from investors including Chinese tech giant Tencent and billionaires Peter Thiel and Li Ka-shing. It has also started looking at deploying its war chest of funds to buy a fintech competitor.

“We have started to look — and we are still looking — opportunistically at some interesting targets,” N26 co-CEO Maximilian Tayenthal said. “It could be players that are strong in certain areas; think about trading, think about KYC. There could be other fintechs; challenger players in our space that have a good customer base.”

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