Case Study: GMAC/Ally Bank

Banking on the Future of the American Automobile

In the early 2000’s the largest domestic automobile company leveraged 25 million plus consumer relationships and created arguably the country’s largest and most profitable online banking and financial services platform.

Initially launched as the GMAC Bank the service was renamed the Ally Bank years later as GM expanded the role of the bank to include automotive lending linked to its massive dealer base. The original business model sought to leverage millions of GM automotive, insurance, OnStar, and mortgage consumer relationships into a new online banking and diversified financial services platform.

Ascension consultants played critical strategic roles developing the original business model and driving the commercialization of the online platform into non-banking product offerings including online brokerage, tax preparation, and fractional investments.

After only two years on the market GMAC Bank attained over 10,000 customers, $400 million in consumer deposits, and assets of $3 billion.

Ascension provided strategic support for product expansion efforts including the addition of educational loans, corporate charge cards, and commercial payment processing for many GM operating divisions.

The Ascension support role included the development of important third party, strategic product alliances with Ameritrade and ShareBuilder.com.

The GMAC/Ally Bank is an excellent study in customer relationship leverage and brand/service expansion strategy.

Today Ally ranks as the #1 online bank in America though it was spun off by GM as a separate company following the financial crisis of 2008.