There were clues of Goldman Sachs’ intentions when they bought out GE Capital Bank, but now it’s official – the investment bank opens its doors to main street consumers with a Goldman Sachs branded online savings account offering. The yield is decent too.
For the veteran safe asset investors out there, Goldman Sachs’ offering is very familiar. The account is FDIC insured, meaning that up to $250,000 is safe for each individual and joint account; it’s a savings account with withdrawals limited to six a month; electronic transfers are usually done under ACH but you can also wire transfer in and out of the account etc etc.
They tout no fees, which is nice if you need to use wire transfers for whatever reason. One benefit of using a wire transfer is that the funds are transferred and available immediately, meaning you can wait until the very last business day to make the transfer and grab that extra yield as banks will make the transfer on the day requested and the receiving end will immediately have access to the cash.
Note though that you still need to make the request well ahead of time. Wire requests after 3pm CT will be considered for the next business days at Goldman Sachs. The bank also says it may take up to three business days to process the request, so schedule the transfer early if timing of the payment is crucial.
Editor’s Note: Obviously the yield is small these days so the extra interest is minuscule. Still, some people care about this stuff no matter how small the gain so it’s important to point the details out.
Being able to make a wire transfer for free directly could also come in handy if the only method of transfer is through a wire. For instance, the escrow company only allowed wire transfers into their account when we bought our home. If the savings account didn’t allow wire transfers, then I would need to transfer everything to the checking account, deal with the daily limits of ACH (GS Bank has an outgoing transfer limit of $125,000 per transfer if you make the request online and every other online savings account has daily limits too) before I make another request to wire the funds.
No Trust and Custodial Accounts Though
This won’t affect the majority of you, but not allowing custodial and trust accounts is a deal breaker for those that want to set one up that way. This policy may change, but you simply can’t title the account under a trust or as a custodial account at the moment.
Will You Sign Up?
Everything checks out at the bank and it looks like a decent offering, but I pose the question because many people still remember all the bad press the institution received during the financial crisis. They were painted as the bad guys and pretty much everyone thought so too. In fact, during those troubled few years for the economy was probably the only time in history where people who work at the once prestigious firm didn’t gloat about working there.
Fast Forward to Today…
The crisis seemed not that long ago since I could recall in vivid detail some of the stuff that was happening at the time, but the reality is that 2009 was pushing toward a decade ago. My honest opinion is that pretty much everything is back to business as usual in the finance world. The economy is humming along in the United States as a whole now, and everything related to banking is making gobs of money again.
No doubt none of the high net worth clients complain to Goldman Sachs about their reputation anymore these days.
But main street is different. Many people were badly burned during the crisis, losing their homes and some much more. Justified or not, many blamed the financial industry for their woes and Goldman Sachs became the symbol of the evil institution.
I feel indifferent about the firm, but I didn’t lose a home a decade ago either.
How do you feel about doing business with them? Would you sign up given the current yield? What if it was 10% higher than the competition? Double?
Here’s more information about the bank:
Wire Transfer Address:
Goldman Sachs Bank USA
200 West Street
New York, NY 10282
Routing Transit Number (RTN):
Calling from the US
Monday through Friday, 7am-11pm CT
Calling outside the US: