What's going on?
Marcus is heading to the UK. “Who’s Marcus?” we hear you ask. He (or it, rather) is the friendly new consumer banking business of leading US investment bank, Goldman Sachs.
What does this mean?
Marcus (named after one of Goldman’s founding fathers – and bang on the startups-with-human-names trend) launched in the US in 2016 to give everyday people, not just the 1%, access to digital-only savings accounts and loans. Its UK launch will initially offer savings accounts, with loans being made available in 2019.
The bank hopes to build stronger relationships with the public – its loans are fee-free and Marcus is trying to give the highest interest rate possible for savings accounts. This puts the service right in the middle of the fintech warzone, alongside Monzo, Starling and Atom Bank.
Why should I care?
For markets: Banks are trying to be the Amazon of financial services.
On Tuesday, JPMorgan Chase said it’s going to offer up to 100 free online trades for customers via its investing app (potentially more if you hold lots of cash at the bank) – it used to cost $24.95 per trade. Its goal is to build customer loyalty by giving free additional services, much like Amazon Prime has done by adding music and video. Share prices of JPMorgan’s competitors fell on the announcement – TD Ameritrade’s by 6%. Ouch.
For you, personally: Be careful who you give your money to.
Banks are doing battle to simplify managing your finances – making it easier to trade, pay for things digitally, and move your money around. And they want to charge you less! Good, right? Sure. But with all these options, you need to be careful about where you put your money to work. If only there was a newsletter that could help…