Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s six-year foray into consumer banking — the unit dubbed Marcus – is the focus of a new review at the Federal Reserve.
Fed officials have been looking into the Wall Street giant’s online-banking platform aimed at retail customers, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
For at least several weeks, they’ve been peppering Goldman management with questions and follow-ups in a process that’s still continuing, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information.
The review goes beyond the central bank’s regular oversight of the firm, and is distinct from its more frequent industrywide looks at business lines of interest.
By zeroing in on Marcus, the central bank is taking stock of a division that’s relatively new and growing substantially inside a company without much history dealing with the general public.
While it’s not indicative of any wrongdoing, it is another headache as Chief Executive Officer David Solomon marches ahead with his ambition to expand Goldman — a merchant of high finance — in the world of consumers: soaking up deposits, issuing credit cards and, at some point, offering checking accounts to the masses.
The examination puts yet more pressure on the bank’s leaders to showcase their command of the business and tighten controls.
Representatives for Goldman Sachs and the Fed declined to comment.
The bank has been signaling recently that it’s taking a more cautious approach toward Marcus’s growth. Behind the scenes, Goldman President John Waldron has assumed a bigger role in overseeing the business in an attempt to bring expenses in line and stanch losses.
At mid-year, the bank’s own internal forecast estimated the business would post a record loss of more than $1.2 billion this year.
The cash burn has gotten all the more painful in recent months as a pandemic-era surge in Wall Street deals subsides, making Marcus a fraught topic among Goldman managers.