GOLDMAN SACHS CFO: We're cutting back in trading too ― we're just doing it quietly

Fixed income divisions at Wall Street banks have suffered over the past year, especially in the third quarter.

That has led several big banks, particularly those in Europe, to make deep cuts to their fixed income divisions.

One of the banks that has seemingly stuck by the business is Goldman Sachs.

At the Bank of America Banking & Financial Services Conference on Tuesday, Goldman’s chief financial officer Harvey Schwartz was asked why his bank hadn’t been more aggressive in cutting back.

“We are very committed to it because when we’re with clients whether they are transacting on a particular day or not, it doesn’t matter to us. We know this service is important to them.”

“There are still going to be asset managers, there are still going to be bonds created, there are still going to be hedge funds in the world, there are still going to be clients globally who need to hedge, [there is] asset liability management,” he added.

He described the changes announced by some European banks such as Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank as “unprecedented” and “pretty extraordinary”. Goldman is making changes, it is just doing it quietly.


e’ve cut head count [in] fixed income by more than 10% since 2013,” Schwartz said.

He added that the bank had cut risk-weighted assets by “more than a third” and balance sheet by more than 20% in the institutional client services division, which is “mostly” fixed income.

But you won’t hear Goldman advertising those cuts.

“The reason we don’t make announcements is because I think that’s just what you need to do in this business,” Schwartz said.

“I don’t think there is any reason to make an announcement. You just have to run the business and if the revenue environment is such that you are in a period of decline, you just need to take to those actions.”

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