Goldman Sachs is taking the expression “everyone makes mistakes” to an entirely new level.
The Financial Conduct Authority fined Goldman Sachs £34 million ($45 million), for “failing to provide accurate and timely reporting” to authorities.
“These were serious and prolonged failures,” Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said in a statement.
The UK fines come as Goldman Sachs is mired in an unrelated corruption scandal in Malaysia that has tarnished the Wall Street firm’s reputation and resulted in charges against a former partner.
Financial institutions are required to file timely transaction reports on trades. They detail the product being exchanged, the trading venue and the identities of buyers and sellers.
These reports are used by regulators to sniff out market abuse and supervise banks.
Goldman Sachs and other large financial players make countless trades each day. The vast majority are reported accurately.
Goldman Sachs submitted about 1.5 billion transaction reports to UK regulators during the period in question, meaning the errors represent about 15% of all reports filed.
Yet Steward said the missteps “demonstrate a failure over an extended period to manage and test controls that are vitally important to the integrity of our markets.”
UK regulators granted Goldman Sachs a 30% discount on its fine because the bank agreed to resolve the case.
“We are pleased to have resolved this legacy matter,” Goldman Sachs said in a statement. The bank said it dealt with the problem “proactively” and has since made significant investments to “enhance” its reporting procedures.
Goldman Sachs is hardly the only bank to get punished for such failures. Bank of America’s (BAC) Merrill Lynch, Barclays (BCS), Credit Suisse (CS), UBS (UBS), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Deutsche Bank (DB) have all been fined in recent years for reporting errors.
Goldman Sachs is grappling with the far more serious 1MDB controversy, a multi-billion dollar scandal over the firm’s dealings with Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund. Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company announced earlier this month it won’t do any new business with Goldman.
David Solomon, Goldman’s new CEO, has apologized for the 1MDB affair and defended the bank’s culture.