WSJ: Goldman Sachs considers exiting Apple partnership, pursues talks with American Express

Jul 3, 2023, 11:33 AM UTC
2 mins read
WSJ: Goldman Sachs considers exiting Apple partnership, pursues talks with American Express

Goldman Sachs is reportedly seeking to sever ties with Apple as part of its ongoing effort to shift away from consumer banking. According to an exclusive report in The Wall Street Journal, the bank is engaged in discussions with American Express to transfer the Apple Card and other financial endeavors covered by the existing partnership agreement. While negotiations have been underway for several months, the report suggests that a deal with Amex is not imminent and remains uncertain.

Goldman Sachs’ potential exit from the Apple partnership marks a significant reversal of its previous commitment. In October 2022, the bank extended its collaboration with Apple until 2029, signaling a long-term strategic alliance. The partnership had already yielded joint products, such as a savings account offering, launched in April 2023. However, customer complaints regarding the performance of these accounts have become an issue for both companies.

The recent move by Goldman Sachs reflects mounting challenges in its consumer banking foray, resulting in mounting pressure on CEO David Solomon. The bank ventured into the consumer banking sector years ago, launching Marcus, its digital banking platform. Despite early promise, the consumer businesses incurred substantial losses, leading Goldman to reconsider its involvement and pursue an exit strategy. The partnership with Apple represents one of the few remaining elements of Goldman’s consumer banking ambitions.

The decision to exit the partnership with Apple likely stems from Goldman’s strategic realignment and a desire to focus on core strengths. While Goldman has a storied history in investment banking and wealth management, its venture into consumer banking has not yielded the anticipated returns. By divesting itself from these operations, Goldman aims to streamline its business and enhance profitability.

According to sources familiar with the matter, Goldman Sachs has initiated talks with American Express to transition the Apple Card and associated financial initiatives. American Express, a globally recognized financial services company, may provide a viable alternative for Apple in the event of a separation from Goldman. However, it is important to note that negotiations are ongoing, and no immediate agreement has been reached between the parties involved.

If Goldman Sachs successfully concludes a deal with American Express or another partner, it could mark a pivotal moment in the bank’s strategy. Shedding its remaining consumer banking obligations, including the Apple partnership, would allow Goldman to refocus on its core competencies and bolster its position in investment banking and wealth management. By reorienting its efforts, the bank aims to regain investor confidence and restore shareholder value.

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