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Goldman Sachs to put the brakes on Marcus expansion in UK

Goldman Sachs to put the brakes on Marcus expansion in UK

Goldman Sachs is planning to slow down the growth of its online retail banking brand Marcus in the UK.

This is to avoid surpassing $25 billion in deposits which would require the US bank to ring-fence its retail banking intake from riskier investment activity, the Sunday Telegraph has reported.

Goldman Sachs is understood be around halfway to this figure at present.

The ring-fencing rules are a product of the 2007-08 financial crisis to protect consumers' deposits from speculative and capital-intensive investment banking operations in which the likes of Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan specialise.

However, Goldman Sachs has been expanding its presence in other areas of financial services in recent years as part of a strategy to add $5bn in revenue by 2020.

Online retail banking brand Marcus was one wing of this push, launched in the US in 2016 as a platform offering personal loans and savings accounts to retail customers.

Marcus launched in the UK in 2018 and attracted 50,000 customers in just two weeks with its then market-leading interest rate on its savings account.

The number of Marcus customers in the UK is now north of 300,000, though many of these will have lost the introductory bonus rate of 1.5%, while new customers are now offered 1.45%.

It is unclear whether Goldman Sachs would reach the $25bn threshold in the course of its next marketing drive, set to launch next year.

Goldman Sachs is also set to start offering stocks and shares ISAs under the Marcus brand in partnership with Nutmeg, who it led a £45m investment into in January of this year.

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