Apple is trying to unwind its Goldman Sachs credit card partnership

FAN Editor

David Solomon, Chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs, participates in a panel discussion during the annual Milken Institute Global Conference at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 29, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.

Michael Kovac | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Apple has given Goldman Sachs a proposal to end its credit-card and savings account partnership within the next 12 to 15 months, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC’s Leslie Picker.

The move, if it were to happen, would effectively end one of the highest profile partnerships between a bank and a tech company.

It would also mean that Apple would need to find a new financial partner for its popular credit card, Apple Card, and its high-yield savings accounts under the Apple brand. While Apple offers both its credit card and savings account through the wallet app on iPhones, the banking backend is handled by Goldman Sachs.

When Apple first launched the Apple Card in 2019, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon was in attendance at a glitzy Apple launch event at its California campus.

But the partnership has been rocky in recent years as Goldman Sachs, under CEO David Solomon, has retreated from its previous consumer banking ambitions as costs stacked up. Goldman has also faced scrutiny from regulators into how it handles refunds and billing errors, and over alleged gender discrimination when determining credit limits.

Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs said that it would “consider strategic alternatives” for its consumer banking business.

For Apple, the credit card and savings accounts are a way to add value and additional features to its iPhone, as well as bolster its quickly growing services business with fees. It’s not clear whether Apple has found a new partner or would consider bigger changes to its financial products if it were to exit the agreement with Goldman Sachs.

“Apple and Goldman Sachs are focused on providing an incredible experience for our customers to help them lead healthier financial lives,” an Apple representative told CNBC. “The award-winning Apple Card has seen a great reception from consumers, and we will continue to innovate and deliver the best tools and services for them.”

The proposal from Apple was previously reported by the Wall Street Journal. A Goldman Sachs representative declined to comment.

CNBC’s Leslie Picker and Steve Kovach contributed to this story.

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