Goldman is hiring a team to build a consumer and small business lending platform. The move is part of a broader shift on Wall Street as regulation and capital rules crimp profits at other units of the bank.
But Goldman has narrowed the focus to personal and business loans, unsecured by collateral and targeting customers with good credit, people familiar with the matter said. The business is unlikely to pursue auto loans, a booming area that has drawn scrutiny from regulators because of its dependence on customers who have struggled with debt, one person said. Goldman already lends to ultrarich individuals through a network of wealth advisers. But making direct contact with retail customers would mark a leap for Goldman, given its traditional concentration on multinational companies and deep-pocketed individuals. “We’ll want people who previously didn’t know where we were,” Mr. Blankfein said at the firm’s annual meeting last month, speaking of customers unfamiliar with the firm. “So that will, over time, cause us to have to develop new muscles.”