Goldman Sachs has amassed $115b in deposits, and is now expanding its online lending platform Marcus. The combination of low cost of capital (through deposits), few traditional brick and mortar locations, and online lending could prove potent.
Goldman’s fledgling Main Street operation is a bright spot. With more than $115 billion in deposits, it’s already one of the top 25 banks in the United States by that measure. Marcus, as the online consumer-lending unit is called, is experiencing “demand more robust than we thought,” the unit’s boss, Harit Talwar, said recently. Marcus, like fintech rivals, offers a simpler, quicker, more flexible service than many traditional banks. But it also benefits from Goldman’s deep pockets and cheap funding. That ought to give it an edge. Consumer lending can earn at least a 3 percent return on assets — triple what Goldman has been managing as a whole of late. And Mr. Blankfein’s firm doesn’t have branches and legacy technology costs to worry about.