Goldman Sachs really, really, really doesn’t want you to sue the company.
The Wall Street investment bank quietly offered this week to pay all the fees for customers who bring legal claims against its new consumer bank — including double the lawyer’s fees, in some cases — as long as they keep their complaints out of the public eye, The Post has learned.
Goldman, whose nascent consumer bank, Marcus, has more than 4 million customers and $46 billion in deposits, is offering to pay for all legal costs, regardless of who is in the right, as long as claims are brought in private arbitration, according to new terms that would go into effect on July 11.
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Some customers who are found to be in the right by an arbitrator could see an even bigger payday — because of the bank’s willingness to pay double the attorney’s fees, plus any costs for witnesses or experts who testify during the arbitration, according to the terms.
While the incentives for submitting to arbitration for disputes about fees, interest rates and credit denials look unusually high, critics say they might not be worth it.
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“The odds of a Marcus customer going up against Goldman Sachs and its army of lawyers in arbitration is almost a guaranteed Goldman Sachs win,” Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of financial reform group Better Markets, told The Post.
“It’s a classic Goldman Sachs move to make it sound like it’s a great deal, when in fact it stacks the deck in [its] favor,” he added.
While the terms don’t stop customers from joining any potential class, they have to opt out by 50 days after opening an account.
“These changes are intended to make pre-arbitration settlements and the results of arbitration more beneficial to consumers,” Andrew Williams, a Goldman spokesman, told The Post.
Consumers who sue in arbitration get, on average, paydays that are 168 times higher than those who join class actions — but only win 20% of the time, according to a 2015 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau study.