Goldman Sachs announced staff bonuses of £3.6bn yesterday, just hours after a fraud inquiry was launched at the investment bank.
The banker at the centre of the fraud claims, Fabrice Tourre, will be among 33,100 staff, including 5,500 in London, to benefit from the bonuses, reports the Metro. Workers will pick up, on average, a bonus of £108,000.
Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman Vince Cable said he was “absolutely outraged” by the bonuses – paid for only three months’ work.
“Let’s not forget this is one of the investment banks that was at the heart of the financial crisis and had to be rescued by the American government,” he said. “They’re now making very large profits – a lot of it out of government business – and this is completely wrong.”
But the bank has defended its bonus payout, saying it would be the lowest ever for the quarter at 43%. Goldman said its performance reflected “more signs of growth” in the economy.
The bonus packages emerged as the Financial Services Authority launched a “formal enforcement investigation” into the bank in relation to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) allegations. The SEC claims investors – including the Royal Bank of Scotland – lost £650m as a result of the alleged fraud.
The Liberal Democrats last week said bankers’ bonuses should be capped at £2,500 a year, while board directors in financial institutions should not receive extra payouts.