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Goldman Sachs Reportedly in Talks to Take Over JetBlue's Credit Card Operations

By Eric Volkman - Updated Mar 19, 2021 at 8:56PM

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Once a financial services provider to the rich and powerful, the investment bank continues its push into traditional consumer segments.

Seemingly determined to increase its presence in consumer finance, Goldman Sachs (GS -1.99%) is negotiating with JetBlue Airways (JBLU -2.94%) to manage the carrier's credit card program, according to a report Thursday in The Wall Street Journal citing "people familiar with the matter."

Goldman is thus trying to wrench away that business from Barclays (BCS -2.89%), the U.K.-based banking group that currently issues and manages the JetBlue cards. Barclays is also talking with JetBlue in an attempt to keep the job.

A woman choosing from a set of credit cards.

Image source: Getty Images.

Goldman, the former exclusive white-shoe investment bank, has made a concentrated push into more Main Street segments, like consumer banking, with its Marcus brand.

Goldman is a relative newcomer to credit cards, too, although it has already racked up important wins in that business. It is the issuer and manager of Apple's inaugural credit card, launched in mid-2019, and last year was chosen by General Motors for the same work with its credit card, replacing Capital One as the issuer/manager. The GM arrangement should begin in September.

The Journal article said that outstanding balances on the credit cards under Goldman's wing amounted to $4.3 billion in December, which was more than twice the amount over the same period the previous year. But the current amount is still small for a credit card issuer in big banking; JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), for example, had $144 billion in the same category in its fourth quarter of 2020.

Goldman hasn't yet commented on its apparent play for the JetBlue card business. Barclays and JetBlue have also not made any official statement.

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Stocks Mentioned

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Stock Quote
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
GS
$306.73 (-1.99%) $-6.24
JetBlue Airways Corporation Stock Quote
JetBlue Airways Corporation
JBLU
$9.92 (-2.94%) $0.30
Barclays PLC Stock Quote
Barclays PLC
BCS
$7.73 (-2.89%) $0.23

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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