Oct 14, 2018

Barclays to challenge Goldman’s Marcus in US retail banking

Barclays is launching a US current account that will put the British bank in competition with Goldman Sachs' Marcus for customers who want the low costs of a digital-only bank and the security of dealing with a major financial institution. Barry Rodrigues, head of cards and payments at Barclays International, said the bank would "Leverage Barclays' UK knowledge and expertise" to create a current, or checking, account for its US online bank, which already offers credit cards, savings and loans to 13m customers. A consumer-focused account could help Barclays boost its $13.6bn of US retail deposits, diversifying the funding of the Barclays International division, which has housed its investment bank and international retail operations since the UK forced large banks to ringfence their domestic retail operations. Mr Rodrigues, who joined Barclays from Citi a year ago, believes the bank can use technology to better effect than existing US players but acknowledges that the "Ecosystem has got to progress" before features that are the norm in the UK arrive in the US. US retail banking is advanced in some areas, such as the use of quick response codes - a type of barcode - for ATM withdrawals. Like Marcus, Barclays offers savings rates of close to 2 per cent, more than 20 times average rates for comparable savings products across the US. One point of difference with Marcus, Mr Rodrigues said, was that Barclays has a treasure trove of credit history for its US business because "We run one of the world's largest consumer banks and card businesses".

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