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.
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. More 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.