Goldman eyes digital banking opportunity

Goldman eyes digital banking opportunity

Goldman Sachs has hired former Discover card services executive Harit Telwar to head up a new digital banking unit, taking its cue from the swathes of fintech startups that are using technology-led services to penetrate one-time banking strongholds in lending to customers and small businesses.

In a firmwide memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, chief executive Lloyd Blankfein and chief operating officer Gary Cohn identified “digitally led banking services to consumers and small businesses” as an “area of opportunity.”

“The traditional means by which financial services are delivered to consumers and small businesses is being fundamentally re-shaped by advances in technology,” the memo continued.

Talwar, a 15-year veteran of Discover's card services operations, has been brought in to carve out a role for the investment bank's deposit-taking arm, Goldman's Sachs Bank USA, in a new world order defined by the use of Web-based technology for the provision of financial services.

The initiative comes atop a series of recent investments by Goldman in innovative finance startups operating in the field of Big Data and virtual currencies.

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