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Marcus buoys Goldman Sachs’ coffers

Goldman Sachs has reported its latest quarterly earnings for the first three months of 2018 showing strong growth ahead of analysts’ expectations.

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Goldman Sachs has seen a 27 per cent rise in profits over the past 12 months, in part thanks to growth in its new online lending platform Marcus.

The investment bank saw its first quarter earnings for 2018 rise with net revenues of $10.04bn, 25 per cent higher than the first quarter of 2017 and the highest in three years with earnings per share of $6.95. This allowed the firm to increase its dividend to shareholders to $0.80 per share.

Whilst much of Goldman’s bounce back is due to increased profits in its trading divisions, thanks in part to increased volatility in global markets in Q1, growth was also clearly apparent from its online lending platform Marcus.

Launched as a standalone venture in the digital lending world less than two years ago, Marcus has made rapid progress, originating more than $3bn of loans.

The firm said net revenues in its Investing & Lending division - which includes Marcus - rose to $2.1bn in Q1, up 43 per cent compared to a year ago.

Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs’ CEO and chairman, said “Solid performance across our businesses produced strong returns in the first quarter. We are well positioned to serve our clients as the global economy continues to show strength and central banks unwind certain aspects of policy stimulus.”

"We are also broadening our client base and further diversifying our businesses to drive more revenue and earnings growth for the firm.”

The bullish figures for Goldman Sachs come just a day after the news that it has aqquired start-up Clarity Money.

The firm said in release yesterday: “The acquisition of Clarity Money is integral to Marcus’ vision of creating the leading platform for millions of consumers to take control of their financial lives – offering personalised products to save and borrow, that are simple, transparent and always on the side of the customer.

“The acquisition expands Marcus’ products and services to help consumers make smarter financial decisions. Clarity Money is free to use and over time will be branded Marcus by Goldman Sachs.”

Broadly speaking it has been a good earnings season for big US banks. Bank of America, JP Morgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo all have reported huge growth in earnings this week.

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