(Adds comments from internal memo, background about consumer bank)
By Elizabeth Dilts
NEW YORK, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc officially became a credit-card lender on Tuesday by rolling out its first product with Apple Inc, but the bank has aspirations to grow much bigger in consumer lending, its chief executive said in an internal memo viewed by Reuters.
The virtual credit card, which officially launched to all U.S. customers, is Goldman's first, and it represents a big push by the Wall Street bank to build out its young consumer business.
"Apple Card is big, but it's also a beginning," Goldman's CEO David Solomon wrote in an internal email to employees. "In the decades to come, I expect us to be a leader in our consumer business, just like we are in our institutional and corporate businesses."
Solomon did not say whether the bank is looking for other partners to launch more co-branded credit cards, as it did with Apple.
But in describing the area at the bank's New York headquarters where "the credit card business is being developed," he said the employees working there embody the strategy Solomon hopes will drive the bank's future growth: "collaboration of teams across the firm's divisions...One Goldman Sachs."
Goldman began selling consumer banking products to retail customers three years ago with the launch of Marcus, its online bank. Marcus now has more than $5 billion in loans and more than $50 billion in deposits from some 4 million customers in the United States and Britain. (Reporting By Elizabeth Dilts Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio)