Goldman Sachs launches online bank aimed at masses

A Goldman Sachs sign is seen above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, in this file photo taken January 24, 2014. Goldman Sachs Group Inc has agreed to pay $5.06 billion to settle claims that it misled mortgage bond investors during the financial crisis, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Monday.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/Files


New York / AFP

Goldman Sachs has officially launched an online bank targetting households and small businesses as it expands from its Wall Street base and aims for the masses.
The online-only GS Bank permits consumers to open an account for as little as $1, a big shift for a financial powerhouse that has built itself around serving billionaires and giant companies undertaking mega-mergers.
The move comes on the heels of Goldman’s acquisition of GE Capital’s online deposit platform, after which it assumed about $16 billion of deposits from some 145,000 customers.
“Welcome to Peace-of-Mind Savings,” reads the bank’s pitch to consumers who desire federally insured savings accounts.
Goldman is offering savers a relatively robust interest rate of 1.05 percent, much higher than the 0.01 percent now available at JPMorgan Chase and other retail banks.
Goldman is also offering a five-year certificate of deposit at 2.0 percent, also much higher than the going rates at other large banks.
Goldman has no plans to open retail branches at a time when JPMorgan and other large banks have been trimming costs by cutting back on their retail presence.
Goldman’s purchase of the GE Capital assets was approved in March by the US Federal Reserve, which has welcomed the move into the mass market as a way to diversify Goldman’s business.
The Goldman Sachs Group is an American multinational investment banking firm that engages in global investment banking, investment management, securities and other financial services primarily with institutional clients.
Goldman Sachs is headquartered in New York City, with additional offices in other international financial centers. The firm provides asset management, mergers and acquisitions advice, prime brokerage and underwriting services to its clients, which include corporations, governments and individuals.

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