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Alternative Finance blog

Goldman Sachs to launch a UK online Bank and possible P2P lending platform

2 years ago

Goldman Sachs, the US based investment bank, is set to launch a new online Bank in the UK. It will aim to provide savers with more attractive returns than those on offer from the UKs high street Banks and may add a consumer-lending arm (that’s a peer-to-peer lending platform by another name).


This news hails from an interview between Goldman’s head of strategy Stephen Scherr that was published in the Financial Times (FT) earlier this month. According to the interview the new online bank would be a direct competitor to Zopa and Ratesetter, two of the UK’s largest peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms.


If this happens it will make a significant step for the UK’s alternative lending market. At present the P2P platforms remain largely unchallenged by the UKs established Banks. Whilst challenger Banks like Atom have joined the ranks of alternative (to the traditional high street Banks) lenders to business, they didn’t consider themselves direct competitors to the lending platforms. Goldman’s new platform, if the information in the FT article is correct, will.


If this move happens it could bring P2P lending to more businesses and people. Goldman’s spending and reach is considerably larger than that of the UK’s growing P2P platforms and you would expect them to use it. It could also mean the beginning of more Banks stepping into this space and competing with the P2P platforms, which in theory would pitch a lot of Goliath’s against a few revolutionary David’s. What is more likely is that this move would herald the beginning of consolidation for the sector as it reaches a point in its growth where awareness heightens and size really starts to matter. Regardless of the outcome if Goldman’s do launch P2P, by any name, in the UK, it highlights the growing importance of the sector and it will be interesting to watch.

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