Marcus, the consumer lending unit of Goldman Sachs, has issued $3 billion in new consumer loans since launching in October of 2016 through the first quarter of 2018.
CNBC, citing comments that Goldman CFO Martin Chavez made on a conference call to discuss first quarter results, reported the consumer lending unit, which provides consumers with no-fee unsecured personal loans, is seeing good demand from consumers. “We are pleased with the progress we are making on strategic initiatives within our consumer franchise,” Chavez said on the call, according to CNBC. “Our long-term vision for Marcus is to create the leading platform for millions of consumers to take control of their financial lives.”
In September, Goldman said it is aiming to add around $5 billion from growth initiatives, which include lending — and thus Marcus. Some analysts are worried that Marcus could be lending to consumers with less than stellar credit and that could result in delinquencies, something Goldman Sachs mentioned in its recent 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. When asked about that on the call, Chavez told analysts that Marcus continues to “emphasize creditworthy customers, and the credit quality of our portfolio is performing in-line with expectations.”
While Marcus is growing in terms of loan volumes, to beef up the unit, CNBC reported, it could engage in small buys. This past week it announced it was acquiring Clarity Money, which gives it access to more than 1 million customers. Chavez said Goldman is “open-minded” about similar buys, noted CNBC. “You can expect to continue to see us making investments,” Chavez said. “I'd expect that we're highly likely to continue with bolt-on acquisitions.”
In a press release this past weekend, Goldman Sachs said Clarity Money will be integrated into Marcus. According to Goldman Sachs, Clarity was attractive because it is a leading app that helps consumers make better personal finance decisions by using machine learning to provide advice that consumers can act upon. Goldman Sachs said the acquisition of Clarity Money is “integral” to Marcus’ aim to create a platform where millions of consumers will go to borrow and save money that is transparent, easy and has the customers’ best interest in mind. Clarity Money will be free to use and over time will be rebranded Marcus by Goldman Sachs.