JPMorgan targets Europe in retail banking drive

STORY: Europe’s big banks could soon face a new rival for retail customers.

JPMorgan looks to be hiring a team to build a consumer business in the region.

It’s already begun a hiring spree in Germany as part of the move.

Over 80 posts in the country are listed on its web site, including a Berlin-based leadership role in consumer banking.

The U.S. firm wouldn’t comment on the reports or its plans.

However, JPMorgan last year launched a digital-only retail offering in the UK.

Now a Reuters source at the bank says it’s tracking the success of that move before expanding across the continent.

A banking recruiter in Germany said its job listings clearly point to an expansion into the retail market.

U.S. lenders have been looking to offset the volatile returns from investment banking with the steadier business of consumer accounts.

Experts say it’s a tough market though, with thin margins and powerful incumbents.

JPMorgan executives acknowledge the challenge, but say the digital era has changed the game.