Goldman Sachs has amassed $115b in deposits, and is now expanding its online lending platform Marcus. The combination of low cost of capital (through deposits), few traditional brick and mortar locations, and online lending could prove potent.
Goldman Sachs’s internal technology revolution cannot come soon enough. The Wall Street firm’s young online retail-banking unit is growing and could, once big enough, crank out far higher returns than the investment bank. Goldman could do with some of that extra juice. At 11.4 percent, Goldman’s annualized return on equity for the quarter places it in the upper echelons of the industry, along with the likes of JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. The trouble is, the return depended upon a low tax rate, which followed from a new accounting rule relating to the settlement of share awards. Without that benefit, Goldman’s return for the quarter would have been just 8.9 percent – below the rule-of-thumb 10 percent needed to cover the cost of capital.