Digital Banking

Goldman Exec Says Marcus Isn’t Like JPMC’s Finn

Goldman Sachs doesn’t believe its digital brand, Marcus, will suffer the same fate as JPMorgan Chase‘s Finn.

Barely more than a year after JPMorgan launched an effort to bring younger clients into the fold through a digital banking app, the banking giant announced last week that it is shuttering Finn. The pilot program began in October 2017, and a nationwide rollout came out in June of last year. Those customers are now having funds transferred to other Chase accounts, across savings and checking options.

However, Omer Ismail, head of U.S. consumer business for Goldman Sachs, explained to American Banker that Marcus is different from Finn — namely, because the bank doesn’t consider Marcus to simply be a digital venture, but an entire line of business.

“In the consumer space, we do this from a clean sheet of paper,” Ismail said. “There are no channel conflicts, no self-cannibalization. We were ready to create something from scratch that our customers are looking for.”

Launched in 2016, Marcus currently has more than 4 million customers, and had $30 billion in deposits last year. In addition, the brand doesn’t have origination targets, and can adjust its credit model faster than a traditional bank if there is a downturn in the credit cycle, Ismail added.

Earlier this month, Goldman’s CEO David Solomon complained that Marcus was “getting absolutely no credit from anybody else in the investing community.”

“We started out to try to create a business that would disrupt [the] big, broad industry by really focusing on our customers, on our clients in a way that we would provide better service, better solutions, deal with pain points,” Solomon said at the time. “If we were out in Silicon Valley and made 20 percent of the progress that we’ve made, we would get a lot of credit, and people would be throwing money at us to own a piece of this business. But, nestled inside little-old Goldman Sachs, we’re just going to have to prove it over time.”


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