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Amazon for Investing? Why Schwab Boss Thinks It’s Unlikely

April 30, 2018

The specter of Amazon getting into the wealth management and investment business has been on the minds of many, but the CEO of Charles Schwab isn’t too concerned, according to Bloomberg.

Walt Bettinger tells Bloomberg Television that any of the FAANGs — Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google — would be dealing with an entirely new regulatory environment, one they’re not familiar with.

“If you’re a FAANG-type company and you decide you want to come into our space in a manner consistent with the way we operate, you will invite the Federal Reserve into every single thing you do,” he tells the news channel. “It’s a wide moat and a big decision to make.”

Amazon does already offer a credit card and has talked to several banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., about offering a co-branded credit card aimed at business owners and online accounts aimed at millennials, Bloomberg writes. And management consulting firm Bain & Co. said last month Amazon could use a partnership with a bank — and the strength of its brand — to establish financial relationships with 70 million customers within five years, according to the news service. But while Amazon could get into finance while avoiding Fed oversight by partnering with banks, any large tech firm getting into the investing business may need “a more direct approach,” Bloomberg writes. To Bettinger, that’s another stumbling block for the tech giants.

“In our business the markets don’t just go up; markets go down too,” he tells Bloomberg TV. “If you have an exceptionally successful business model and you’re one of the FAANGs, do you want to move into a business where 40 percent of the time you’re going to disappoint your clients?”

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Bloomberg article cited in this story, click here.