Goldman’s Marcus Has Lost $1.3B Since 2016

Consumer bank Marcus, launched by Goldman Sachs in 2016, has lost $1.3 billion despite buying startups and building call centers in Utah and Texas, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday (Sept. 28).

Startup Marcus — named after Goldman Sachs’s 19th-century immigrant founder — went after deadbeat borrowers without the benefit of a collections staff, sources told the WSJ.

Goldman’s entry into savings accounts and credit cards resulted in early loan losses, people familiar with the matter told the news outlet. Further, the loans Marcus offered were not backed by collateral, people familiar with the matter said.

Although the firm’s revenue and stock trades are down since 2010, it said it wants to get consumer banking right. Tech talent has been attracted to Marcus’s savings accounts, and new deposits total $50 billion.

“We’re developing muscles we didn’t know we had,” said Omer Ismail, who runs Marcus in the U.S.

In 2016, Marcus launched consumer savings accounts with an opening balance of just $1. It also offered loans for a “few thousand dollars.”

The launch of the Apple Card in March is allowing Goldman Sachs to become a leader in consumer banking, the bank’s CEO, David Solomon, said in August.

Apple and Goldman Sachs announced the Apple Card, which users sign up for through Apple Pay. They get approval on their device and can begin using it immediately. The card is stored in the wallet app and doesn’t have any fees. In addition, it helps users stay on top of transactions and when payments are due.

“Apple Card is big, but it’s also a beginning,” Solomon said in August. “In the decades to come, I expect us to be a leader in our consumer business, just like we are in our institutional and corporate businesses, with customer-centricity at the core of everything we do.”