There are strong indications that leading global financial management and investment company Goldman Sachs Groups is about to launch a new digital retail banking service in the UK.
And it could potentially offer higher rates of interest than current online savings accounts.
Goldman has previously earned a reputation for being the choice for “the top 1%” but has increasingly been aiming its new offerings at the “man or woman on the street”.
It looks highly likely that Goldman Sach’s foray into the UK loans and savings market will be online only – with no physical branches – and will be branded as ‘Marcus by Goldman Sachs’ (named after bank founder Marcus Goldman).
Goldman Sachs launched the Marcus savings and loan banking brand as an online consumer platform last year in the US. It lent over $1bn within eight months of starting up.
This was seen as a clear signal that Goldman Sachs is turning its attention away from traditional investment banking and wealth management services to a more consumer-focused service.
Marcus loans and savings in the UK
If the UK arm follows the same operating model, it will position itself as offering the British public straightforward, high-return savings options.
Potentially with a greater return on investment than the current crop of easy-access savings accounts.
Though this move into the UK retail banking market has not been officially confirmed by the company yet, it is believed that they have hired a former director of the TSB to head up this new venture.
By mid-2018 it is rumoured that it will go live offering savings accounts and personal loans to UK customers.
Also, the Press Association has revealed that Goldman Sachs has begun discussions with UK regulators.
There is even evidence to suggest the investment bank is drafting out its staffing requirements for its new UK retail arm, including creating a London call centre.
Good timing for new UK savings and loans products
The Goldman Sachs Group has faced tough times recently – like many global investment, banking and securities firms after the global financial crisis.
Though it already offers a diverse range of financial management and investment services to companies, other financial organisations, governments and the public, further diversification is seen as key to gaining ground.
The group recently announced its second-quarter results, which showed profits held back by a fall of 17% in trading revenue.
Additional rules evolving to hold back risk taking are also believed to have led to a new focus on more consumer-led products.
The timing certainly seems to suggest a great window of opportunity for a banker of Goldman’s strength to offer UK investors a new option for savings and loans.
Rates are currently at an all time low, and the disillusioned British public are keen to find new ways to improve return on savings. Especially as pundits believe that it is unlikely the Bank of England will raise rates until 2018.
Goldman Sachs has its headquarters in New York but now has a network of offices in major financial centres throughout the world.
Its programme of diversification has recently included creating more public-focused banking services based in Milan, Madrid and Frankfurt. Further evidence that a new move into London is next.