Goldman Sachs Marcus to launch app in ‘next few weeks’

By Daniel Lanyon on Tuesday 18 May 2021

Digital BankingSavings and Investment

After five years since it first launched the Marcus brand in the US, Goldman Sachs UK customers will soon get a feel for its longer term fintech offering.

Goldman Sachs Marcus to launch app in ‘next few weeks’
Image source: Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs Marcus brand has been one of the slowest burning projects in fintech. It launched in the US five years ago and the UK more than three years ago but has moved along at a glacial pace when compared to neo banking names such as Revolut and Monzo who it was originally billed to quickly overtake.

Its US customers have had access to its “banking app” for a number of years, where they can monitor loans and savings accounts, but its UK strategy has been much more streamlined at simply building savings deposits.

While users have been able to use its cash savings feature since 2018 since which £22bn has flowed into its coffers, further services - including a smartphone app - have been slower coming.

Until now it seems, Reuters reports, with Marcus prepping the launch of its long-awaited UK app in a matter of weeks.

The purpose of the Marcus brand, named after the bank’s 19th-century founder and originally dubbed ‘Mosaic’ ahead of its launch, has been speculated over since its launch. 

It started as non-bank lender of sorts in the US and many expected it to take the form of a standalone digital bank eventually but, its UK chief Des McDaid told Reuters, it will be more akin to a wealth management platform. 

"We are pivoting more into an investment and wealth provider rather than a full-service digital bank," he said.

Earlier this year it revealed the planned launch of investment products to sit alongside its savings products in the US initially in 2021 and then in 2022 in the UK. 

"We have been delighted with how fast and how quickly we have grown. The challenge now is how do we repeat the formula we used for savings to offer our customers an accessible platform for investing products," McDaid told Reuters.

The move could be a sign that Goldman wants to keep Marcus closer to the fold and get around rules that prompt assets totalling more than £25bn prompt be ring-fenced. 

Its £50m investment into Starling Bank last month also suggests it is keener to back break out stars of the neo banking scene at present rather than enter into the increasingly competitive space. 

James Hayward, managing director at Goldman Sachs, said at the time: “Starling is one of the leading and most innovative digital banks in the UK, with an ambitious technology-first leadership team and addressing a deep market opportunity. We are delighted to be supporting their growth with this investment and believe the company has sustainable long-term earnings potential.”

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