Goldman Sachs opens digital consumer bank in Britain

FILE PHOTO: The Goldman Sachs company logo is seen in the company's space on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs GS.N has opened its digital consumer savings platform Marcus to its own staff in Britain ahead of a wider roll-out to the public in the coming weeks, according to an internal memo sent to staff on Thursday and seen by Reuters.

Since its launch in the United States in 2016 the digital bank has accumulated more than $20 billion in deposits, as Goldman seeks to diversify its sources of funding and compete with rival U.S. lenders that have full retail banks.

The bank will offer an online savings account to customers in Britain, Goldman Sachs told staff in the memo, and forms part of the bank’s strategy to grow its consumer business.

The move pits the U.S. investment banking giant against incumbent British lenders such as HSBC HSBA.L and Barclays BARC.L, as well as startup digital players such as Atom Bank and Tandem, which also offer savings accounts via mobile apps.

Goldman has said it may seek to expand its consumer bank through acquisitions or even buying a traditional lender.

The U.S. bank got into consumer banking much later than big U.S. banking peers, and analysts have said over the years that acquiring a big retail lender would help even out volatile results from businesses such as trading and investment banking.

Reporting By Lawrence White; editing by David Evans