Goldman Sachs has refused to comment on reports it will open a retail banking offering in the UK.
The US investment bank is said, by the Financial Times, to have hired a former director of TSB to lead a team selling personal loans and operating savings accounts from mid-2018.
The online-only expansion could come under its ‘Marcus’ brand – named after bank founder Marcus Goldman – which launched in the US last year.
Stephen Scherr, the bank’s head of strategy, told the FT: “Much like in the US, we’re aiming to offer consumers easy-to-use and higher-returning savings options than (they) might have elsewhere.”
‘Marcus’ marked a shift away from its traditional focus on investment banking and wealth management.
The bank has been looking to diversify its income streams following a tough time for its trading division – with its latest second-quarter results showing profits being held back by a 17% fall in trading revenue.
The Press Association says Goldman has already held discussions with UK regulators and is in the process of planning staffing arrangements, including the opening of a call centre in London.
The development is likely to boost competition following a torrid time for savers since the financial crisis, with interest rates at record lows.
Many financial markets and economists do not foresee the Bank of England raising rates until next year – a potential factor behind Goldman’s timing.
It is also a rare piece of good news for The City as a host of banks and other financial services firms mull opening or expanding operations in the EU to maintain access to the single market after Brexit.
Goldman is already planning to move some client-facing roles to Madrid, Milan and Frankfurt.