American banking giant Goldman Sachs is set to debut its online retail bank, Marcus, in Japan to offer consumer banking services to tech savvy customers in the country.
During a symposium on financial innovation, Goldman Sachs Japan President Masanori Mochida told Nikkei Asian Review: “We’re considering expanding our Marcus consumer business into Japan.”
“The digitalisation taking place in the finance sector is good for us,” Mochida told the new agency, adding that relatively low “legacy costs” – such as bank branches – offers the firm an advantage.
Goldman Sachs plans to start negotiations with Japans’ financial regulator Financial Services Agency to secure the necessary licence.
The latest move comes amidst the departure of the bank’s rivals from the retail banking sector in Japan. Citigroup quit the country’s retail banking market in 2015, whereas HSBC and Standard Chartered bid adieu to their consumer banking operations in Japan in 2012.
In 2016, Goldman Sachs forayed into the retail banking space through online consumer banking outfit Marcus in the US when low interest rates gradually corroded earnings from its mainstay trading operations.
Named after one of the original founders of Goldman Sachs Marcus Goldman, the online bank Marcus made a debut in UK this September.
The online banking unit provides loans and savings accounts to consumers and currently serves approximately two million customers and has $30bn in deposits, according to the publication.
In April, Goldman Sachs purchased Clarity Money, a personal finance startup, to strengthen its Marcus online lending business.
Powered by artificial intelligence, Clarity Money enables users to manage their personal finances and is likely to add more than one million customers to Marcus’ business.