July 17, 2012 / 4:45 AM / 5 years ago

Goldman Sachs builds private bank - WSJ

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs (GS.N) is building an in-house private bank to serve wealthy customers around the world as part of a cautious strategy to reshape its business, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

The banking push, which has not been previously disclosed, will give Goldman more deposits, a source of low-cost funding less vulnerable to the vagaries of financial markets.

The new unit will also lend more directly to corporations, some of which already make investments and do business with Goldman. Bank executives have set a goal of $100 billion in loans, up from $12 billion at the end of March, the Journal said.

    Goldman has no plans to open retail branches, build a network of automated teller machines, pitch credit cards or “give away toasters,” Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein told the Wall Street Journal.

    Goldman converted into a bank holding company at the height of the financial crisis in 2008 to access emergency funds from the Federal Reserve.

    However, like other investment banks, Goldman currently funds most of its activities by borrowing cash against its store of securities holdings, a strategy that left it dangerously exposed during the 2008 turmoil, the paper said.

    Goldman Sachs could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.

    Reporting by Sakthi Prasad; Editing by Matt Driskill

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