Goldman Sachs Chief Financial Officer Stephen Scherr told investors on Wednesday that the bank’s lending exposure to energy, hotel, gaming and airline companies was manageable, and that the bank would not seek to grow its retail loan portfolio given current economic conditions.
Scherr said those areas of lending were small compared to Goldman’s overall portfolio of corporate loans, with loans to gaming, airlines, hotel and energy companies comprising only 10% of the bank’s total loan portfolio. Nonetheless, the bank has doubled provisioning for its loan exposure to oil and gas companies, Scherr said in a conference call, as he sought to reassure investors the bank is on sound financial footing despite the fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The head of the Federal Reserve warned on Wednesday that a growing number of economic indicators are pointing to a prolonged period of weak economic growth, as the coronavirus continues to keep workers and consumers at home. The pandemic has killed 82,030 people in the United States and 291,808 people worldwide.
Epidemiologists fear there could be future outbreaks as some U.S. states begin to reopen businesses, which would delay an economic recovery. More than 32 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since late March. Scherr said the bank is prepared for the worst, and is not experiencing any “elevated losses” on its consumer loans products.
Goldman has made growing its consumer banking business a key pillar of its growth strategy, and last month, it reported that a greater portion of these customers saw their credit scores fall. A lower credit score indicates a customer may struggle to repay loans on time. Scherr said the bank will underwrite fewer installment loans and credit cards in the coming months out of “an abundance of caution.”
In one highlight, Scherr said that consumer deposits now comprise almost a third of the bank’s funding. Goldman has been counting on growing deposits in its consumer bank Marcus and corporate cash management platform to offset the bank’s cost of funding.