business, called Marcus, represents Goldman's first major foray
into consumer lending as it tries to earn more from the $124
billion in deposits it has on its balance sheet.
Marcus, which kicked off on Thursday, will offer
uncollateralized personal loans of up to $30,000 to borrowers
who meet certain credit requirements, according to a press
release. The business will focus on customers who want to manage
their credit card debt, Goldman said.
The bank hired former Discover Financial Services <DFS.N>
executive Harit Talwar more than a year ago to help formulate a
digital lending strategy. It surveyed thousands of consumers
about their borrowing experience and found they were frustrated
by hidden fees, changing interest rates, boilerplate payment
options and difficulty in reaching a human customer-service
representative when they encountered problems.
As a result, Marcus does not have any fees, has a fixed rate,
allows customers to create their own payment dates and offers
live customer support representatives. Goldman noted they are
based in the United States.
Marcus aims to be a "simpler solution" for borrowers than cards,
Talwar said in a statement. Goldman plans to tweak the platform
in response to customer feedback.
Marcus represents part of Goldman's long-running effort to
reinvent itself after the 2007-2009 financial crisis, during
which it obtained a banking license and came under scathing
criticism for profits it earned from the U.S. mortgage market's
Earlier this year, Goldman launched a complementary
deposit-taking platform after acquiring GE Capital's online
bank. Its moves are similar to those of chief rival Morgan
Although Marcus is a digital platform, borrowers will initially
only be able to apply for a loan after receiving a code in the
mail. As of Thursday, borrowers can use those codes at
(Reporting by Olivia Oran; Writing by Lauren Tara LaCapra)
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