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Goldman Sachs is offering savings accounts to Brits

Goldman Sachs is launching its first retail banking operation outside the United States.It will begin...

Posted: Aug 23, 2018 4:01 PM
Updated: Aug 23, 2018 4:01 PM

Goldman Sachs is launching its first retail banking operation outside the United States.

It will begin offering savings accounts to UK customers in the coming weeks through its retail arm, which is named Marcus in honor of the founder of the investment bank, Marcus Goldman.

The move was announced Thursday in an internal memo sent to the bank's UK employees, offering them "exclusive access" to the service before its official debut.

"The launch of Marcus by Goldman Sachs in the United Kingdom represents an important milestone in the growth of Goldman Sachs' consumer business as well as continued diversification of the firm's funding," the bank said in the memo, a copy of which was provided to CNN.

Goldman Sachs has been operating Marcus in the United States since 2016. The online bank does not have physical branches.

Goldman Sachs will initially offer online savings accounts in the United Kingdom. In the United States, it also offers personal loans of up to $40,000.

Marcus had amassed $17.1 billion in deposits by the end of 2017, according to the bank's annual report. It had more than 350,000 customers at the time.

Goldman is entering a crowded retail banking market in the United Kingdom, dominated by established players including Lloyds Bank, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays.

It will also face competition from upstarts such as Monzo and Atom Bank, which offer online services that appeal to younger consumers.

On top of that, British consumers are often reluctant to switch banks.

Industry data show that despite laws aimed at making switching easier, only 1 million Brits switched banks last year -— out of roughly 70 million checking account holders.

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