Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) are under fire after allegations of gender bias were levied against the companies by customers who applied for the Apple Card. The Apple Card is branded and marketed by Apple, but the credit component of the product is handled by Goldman. The allegations have led to the New York Department of Financial Services launching an investigation into Goldman’s credit card practices.
The controversy gained traction after tech entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson wrote a series of tweets complaining about his wife Jamie Heinemeier Hansson’s experience with Apple Card. Jamie currently hold a full-time job outside of the home and has been financially successful, independent of her husband, for a number of years. The couple files tax returns jointly and say that her credit score is not only excellent but also higher than his. Despite all this, he got an Apple Card credit limit 20 times higher than his wife.
As Hansson’s thread went viral and gained media attention, several other men on Twitter chimed in with replies outlining similar experiences where their wives were given significantly lower Apple Card credit limits and higher interest rates despite being the higher-income earners or having higher credit scores. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said it happened to his spouse, too.
Goldman says that the issue is related to how the bank evaluates credit applications independently and has denied allegations of gender bias. Carey Halio, Goldman’s retail bank CEO, released a statement saying, “We have not and never will make decisions based on factors like gender. In fact, we do not know your gender or marital status during the Apple Card application process.”
Goldman has pledged to reevaluate credit limits for Apple Card users on a case-by-case basis for customers who received lower credit lines than expected. Affected users can contact Goldman Sachs through the iPhone Wallet app or at the company’s customer service number to have their applications reviewed.