Storonsky on JP Morgan

Storonsky, who last year became the UK’s youngest self-made billionaire, compared JPMorgan’s efforts to NatWest, which spent about £100m attempting to build a new digital bank that closed after just a few months. “I’ve had this conversation so many times,” Storonsky said. “First it was ‘what about [NatWest] launching a digital bank’, then it’s some other bank. The end is always the same. I don’t think legacy banks can build great products . . . they’re just bankers.”



I wouldn’t count JP Morgan out yet. They’re an entirely different beast to NatWest. They’re launching their flagship brand. Not some cheap little parody of Monzo.


Exactly this. JPM have a massive office in every major financial hub for a reason, they’re bloody good at banking

They have a network that Revolut can’t access, too. Lots of US travellers in the U.K., lots of U.K. travellers in the US. They can leverage that.


If they’re that good, why wasn’t their last digital bank, Finn, successful? They closed it after a year.

because with their US effort, they were being NatWest.


Finn was a learning experiment in a market where they already do well, not a new launch

Time will tell!

When you’re that full of yourself, you’ll probably say anything you like. And he clearly did :grin:


In a way, the actual product with Bó proved that traditional banks could do it, if they were willing to treat the project as a completely new entity and leave it at arm’s length, with total autonomy to the new team.

RBS internal politics killed off Bó, which as a product did actually work. So it could have achieved its goals if properly backed by the parent organisation. Unfortunately for Bó, it became a victim of Alison Rose’s cost-cutting (perhaps justifiably as it was still going to take millions to “finish” developing the platform).

The bigger play with Bó was always to develop a new banking platform and look to migrate customers over - that vision was killed with the project, but in the long term it may have saved money if it had been allowed to continue. Bó itself was the proof of concept / beta testing of that new platform.

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My partner applied for a Bo account and had to have things rectified via Facebook messenger

It also wouldn’t let you open the app on certain Wi-Fi connections with little explanation

You couldn’t get paid into it either

Defo had its limitations

That was because it was only “plugged in” to the Faster Payments network, initially.

More traditional banking features were planned, but it was cancelled before they could develop them.

My guess is they were looking to develop completely new Faster Payments, CHAPS and BACS gateways - probably even ICS support too. They only ever got as far as the FP one.

Will he be proven right or wrong? The pace at Revolut is definitely striking - but they may become a UK bank themselves soon…

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Indeed, and the rumour is that regulators are giving them a hard time - so they may have to make changes in order to gain a banking license here.

I’ve noticed some - you used to be able to hide a transaction and it would disappear off the statement generated.

The statements look different now & that is no longer the case.

No matter what you may think of Nick Storonsky, he’s no idiot.
If and when Revolut do get a UK banking licence, I have a feeling that they could have real success in the market.

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