Goldman Sachs (GS) is weighing whether to launch an Internet banking operation, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the situation.
If Goldman goes ahead with the plan, the new unit will seek deposits that can be used to fund various businesses now that Goldman is a bank-holding company. The possible online bank hasn't been named yet, and many details of its operating plans are undecided. It is likely to offer a range of savings products, such as certificates of deposit, according to the Journal.
The Journal reports the Internet push would be a small but important part of the firm's emerging strategy as it tries to find its way on the new Wall Street.
While still better off than most of its rivals, Goldman is expected to post a net loss of about $2 billion when it reports fiscal fourth-quarter results later this month. That would be the firm's first quarterly loss since going public in 1999.In addition to an Internet bank, Goldman executives are weighing the possibility of seeking deposits through the firm's wealth-management operation and from large corporate clients. Such corporate and institutional deposits are closer to the core of Goldman's overall banking strategy than retail deposits, according to the Journal. Goldman's Internet operation would face competition ranging from traditional banks Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C) to ING Direct, a unit of ING Groep (ING) that does much of its business online, the newspaper reports.
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