For almost 150 years Goldman Sachs has been the go-to bank of the rich and powerful. But now the Wall Street titan is opening up to the masses on Main Street by offering online savings accounts for as little as $1 on deposit.
Goldman’s shift down market comes as the bank is under pressure to develop new streams of funding. Weak first-quarter results from the big US banks have highlighted the challenges faced by their investment banking units, under pressure from volatile markets and tight regulations.
Analysts last week fired a barrage of questions at the US banks, and at Goldman in particular, wondering why they were not doing more to reboot their businesses. Goldman posted the lowest quarterly return on equity — just 6.4 per cent, on an annualised basis — of the past four years.
The bank last week launched GSBank.com, a platform it inherited via the acquisition of a $16bn book of deposits from GE Capital.
Through that deal it gained about 145,000 retail depositors and is now seeking more, offering annual interest rates of 1.05 per cent on a savings account — many times better than the rates of the biggest US brick-and-mortar lenders such as Citibank, JPMorgan Chase or Bank of America.
Stephen Scherr, Goldman’s chief strategy officer, said the aim was to broaden sources of funding for GS Bank, its New York State-chartered lender. Until now, the unit has focused on wholesale funding sources and so-called “brokered deposits”, which are bulk sums that banks acquire from brokers in exchange for high interest rates.
By tapping regular retail depositors, Mr Scherr said, the bank can open up “a different avenue to use, with a different orientation and a different tenor”.
Devan Goldstein, banking expert at NerdWallet, a San Francisco-based personal finance site, said he was unsure whether rate-hunters would be drawn to GS Bank from other online banks such as Ally or Discover. But he predicted the Goldman brand was probably enough to pique interest.
“It’s synonymous with the dream of wealth in America,” he said.
近日，高盛推出了GSBank.com，这是其收购通用电气金融公司(GE Capital) 160亿美元的存款账簿时接手的一个平台。
高盛首席战略官斯蒂芬?谢尔(Stephen Scherr)表示，此举旨在拓宽其纽约州持牌银行GS Bank的资金来源。到目前为止，GS Bank一直聚焦于批发层面的资金来源和所谓的“经纪存款”(brokered deposits)，即银行以高利率为交换条件从经纪商手中收购的大宗款项。
NerdWallet的银行业专家德万?戈尔茨坦(Devan Goldstein)表示，他拿不准GS Bank是否会把那些追逐高息的储户从Ally或Discover等其他在线银行吸引过来，但他预计高盛的品牌应该足以勾起人们的兴趣。NerdWallet是一家位于旧金山的个人理财网站。