Banking

Through Marcus, Goldman Taps UK Retail Banking/Savings Market

Goldman Sachs Group has launched its consumer bank, Marcus, in the United Kingdom, the latest salvo of the company’s push into retail banking, this time across the pond.

As noted by several financial sites, the online bank Marcus is offering savings accounts in the U.K., where those accounts pay 1.5 percent. As The Wall Street Journal notes, that is among the highest rates paid on instant access savings accounts.

The two-year-old online bank had already been launched in the United States; the U.K. will now represent the second retail market for Goldman. Traction in the U.S. has been a hallmark of that foray, where Marcus now has 1.5 million customers and roughly $23 billion in deposits as recently as the end of the second quarter.

The retail push, of course, adds a revenue stream for the Wall Street powerhouse. WSJ noted that as many as 87 percent of adults in the U.K. have cash savings accounts, as estimated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). And beyond those holdings, the FCA has found that in terms of savings accounts, some more competition is needed in the space.

CNBC stated that the Marcus accounts in the U.K. can range from one pound to as many as 250,000 pounds. Holders can withdraw money without fees being levied. The site noted a soft launch over the past month that was limited to Goldman’s own staff.

“Over the last decade, savers have been on the wrong end of low interest rates,” Marcus Managing Director Des McDaid said Thursday in a statement. “We’ve spoken in-depth to people across the country, and there is a real disillusionment about savings — while most U.K. adults are diligently trying to save every month, some do not even have a savings account, with low interest rates and complexity being put to blame.”

Marcus traces its name to Marcus Goldman, founder of Goldman Sachs.

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