Why the best-known investment bank in the world now wants to lend you money

Goldman Sachs has officially booked its first consumer loan.

That’s according to CFO Harvey Schwartz, who told analysts on a call following the release of third-quarter earnings Tuesday that he received word of the loan via email Monday night.

Goldman, arguably the best-known traditional investment bank in the world, launched its online lending tool, Marcus, last Thursday.

Technically, the firm had already tested the system by loaning real money to some employees. But Monday’s loan marks the first non-employee loan.

A convergence of factors led to Goldman’s push into retail banking, according to Schwartz.

“The consumer and the market really presented itself to us,” Schwartz told Business Insider. “We’ve always had technology skills, we’ve always had risk-management skills … It’s just converged for us in a way that works. And we are a bank, so we can do it — and we can get accretive returns.”

Schwartz added that if consumers were not using web platforms, but rather still relying on physical bank branches, “We probably wouldn’t be in the space.”

Marcus has no origination, prepayment, or late fees — Goldman Sachs makes money on the interest and allows customers to choose their monthly payment date and customise payment size and loan tenure. Customers can only take out one loan at a time.

The firm in April launched a digital savings account on GSBank.com, offering customers a 1.05% interest rate on their deposits, which can be as little as $1.

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