Goldman Sachs profits drop 7%

<p>Profits at Goldman Sachs fell by seven per cent as earnings fell to $2.17 billion.</p>

Investment banking firm Goldman Sachs has reported a seven per cent fall in profits for the fourth quarter of 2014.

Earnings in the Wall Street company had also fallen in the final three months of the year to $2.17 billion (£1.5 billion). There was a slightly positive slant on the firm's latest trading update with full year net earnings edging up by 5.4 per cent to $8.48 billion. Goldman Sachs also ranked as the top company for completed mergers and acquisitions in the past year, advising in transactions totalling $1 trillion.

News of the drop in profits saw Goldman Sachs' share price close 0.71 per cent down at the end of trading on Friday (January 16th). The company confirmed that total bonus, expenses and salary expenditure for the year was $12.69 billion which represented a slight drop from the same period a year earlier.

Reuters reported that Goldman Sachs had paid the highest bonuses to its senior staff based in the UK during 2013. The research by the news provider noted that employees in key senior or risk-taking positions received an average of £2.57 million in bonuses each. The figure was around double what other similar banks were paying.

The findings drew major criticism from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) which said that it was time for pay to come "back to planet earth". Other banks such as RBS were found to be offering bonuses of around £600,000 to their key members of staff, a significant drop from that being provided by Goldman Sachs.

It is not just Goldman Sachs that has weaker performance than normal. Citigroup, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase have all reported a dip in trading revenues in recent weeks, with the latter seeing a decline of 14 per cent. Citigroup reported a bigger drop of 16 per cent.

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