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European Super League: Success of JP Morgan's digital bank launch in doubt

JPMorgan faces reputation 'cleanup' ahead of UK digital bank launch

In January, JP Morgan revealed its plans of launching a digital bank in Britain. The bank called its decision to launch a digital retail bank in the U.K. "a milestone" that would introduce British consumers to its retail products for the first time.

"This new endeavour underscores our commitment to a country where we have deep roots, thousands of employees and offices established for over 160 years,” JPMorgan Co-President Daniel Pinto.

The success of the bank's plan is now in doubt with its recent involvement in the European Super League.

"JPMorgan Chase’s ties to the launch of a proposed European breakaway soccer tournament means the bank will have to engage in a reputational "cleanup" to enjoy a successful launch of its upcoming digital consumer bank in the U.K." A reputation management expert

The proposed league, which JPMorgan agreed to underwrite for up to $4.8 billion, would guarantee competition for its founding clubs by doing away with relegation.

The European Super League, which organizers announced last week, has been met with spectacular fallout. Nine of the proposed league's 12 founding clubs dropped out amid widespread backlash from fans, leagues and political figures.

Recent developments have placed the success of the league in doubt. However, Real Madrid President and Super League Chairman Florentino Perez told a Spanish radio station Wednesday, "The project is on standby".

Real Madrid President and Super League Chairman Florentino Perez|Source:Football Espana

Irrespective of the league's outcome, the timing of the ESL's announcement and subsequent blowback could present challenges for JPMorgan, which plans to roll out its digital consumer bank in the U.K. this year.

"Unlike football fans who pride themselves on their loyalty to clubs, banking customers are easily swayed if they don't feel their bank holds their best interests at heart or provide them with the services they need."  Sam Barber, vice president at Cognito, a financial services communications firm.

The company on Friday apologized for its financial backing of the controversial European Super League, saying it misjudged how the breakaway tournament would impact the soccer community.

"We clearly misjudged how this deal would be viewed by the wider football community and how it might impact them in the future. We will learn from this." a JPMorgan spokesperson.