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Goldman Sachs's Marcus account proves popular with UK savers

“We’ve been astounded by reaching 50,000 account sign-ups in just over a week since our launch," said Des McDaid, the managing director of Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs
The next best savings rate on offer in the UK is from t’Yorkshire Building Society

The digital savings account opened by US investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) has proved a big hit with UK savers.

The account was only launched on September 27 but it already has more than 50,000 customers signed up, which was more than Des McDaid, the managing director of Marcus by Goldman Sachs, had been expecting.

READ: Goldman Sachs to launch online retail bank in the UK in coming weeks

Marcus by Goldman Sachs was first launched in 2016 in the US, where it has taken more than US$20bn in deposits.

UK savers seem similarly keen on the product, which is offering a savings rate of 1.5%; that may not seem much to people with long memories but it is very competitive in the current market, where the Bank of England’s base rate has been stuck on or around its lowest ever level since April 2009.

“It sends a clear message to the market that savers are hugely frustrated with low-interest rates,” McDaid said.

“People work hard for their money, so finally it’s time for their savings to work harder for them,” he added.

The Marcus easy-access account’s eye-catching 1.5% interest rate included 0.15 percentage point “welcome” bonus that expires a year after the account is opened.

According to the personal finance website, moneysavingexpert.com, 1.5% is the highest rate it has seen in more than two-and-a-half years.

Savers can invest as little as a quid or as much as £250,000 in the account.

The next best savings rate on offer in the UK is from Yorkshire Building Society, which is offering 1.41% but savers may only withdraw cash once a year.

The Charter Savings Bank and Shawbrook Bank both offer 1.4% and unlimited withdrawals although both require a minimum deposit of £1,000.

Coincidentally, while McDaid was bragging about how popular the Marcus product had been in the UK, news agency Bloomberg had reported the day before that the investment bank was looking to restrain the rapid expansion of its online lending platform.

Goldman Sachs, once memorably described by journalist Matt Taibbi as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money,” is said to have grown more cautious about the consumer debt market and has cut its loans origination target for 2019.

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