Barclays is ready to offer U.S. consumers a low-cost, digital-only bank that will directly compete with Goldman Sachs‘s Marcus brand. Barry Rodrigues, CEO of cards and payments at Barclaycard International, told Financial Times that the new offering would “leverage Barclays’ U.K. knowledge and expertise” to create a checking account for its U.S. online bank, which already offers credit cards, savings and loans to 13 million customers.
“The more aspects of the relationship a customer has with us, the happier we are,” Rodrigues told the newspaper. “We’re going to launch checking, we’re in the process of doing the build and we’re doing some testing. … We expect to have that in the market next year.”
While he would not reveal how many current account customers Barclays hoped to attract to the new checking account, its initial target market will be the 10 million customers that already hold a Barclays co-branded credit card, as well as the 3 million in its existing digital bank. In addition, like Marcus, Barclays offers savings rates of close to 2 percent, which is 20 times more than average rates for comparable savings products across the country.
For its part, Marcus has issued $3 billion in new consumer loans since launching in October of 2016, through the first quarter of 2018. It recently rolled out its services in the U.K., reportedly offering the highest savings account interest rate in the country to lure new customers its way. There have also been reports that Germany will be the next country in Europe to gain access to Marcus.
However, earlier this month, it was reported that Goldman Sachs might be reining in its online lending platform due to concerns about the credit cycle stage and changes in market data, with some lenders worried about the chance for increased losses in consumer credit as interest rates rise.