Goldman seen paying $30 million British fine
Goldman Sachs expected to be fined about $30 million by British regulator, newspapers report

The Associated Press | September 8, 2010

Goldman Sachs & Co. is expected to be fined around $30 million by British authorities following an investigation of the big Wall Street bank's activities in London, according to news reports Wednesday.

The investigation by Britain's Financial Services Authority began in April after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil fraud charges against Goldman Sachs for allegedly misleading buyers of complex mortgage-related investments in 2007. Goldman settled the charges in mid-July by agreeing to pay $550 million -- the largest penalty against a Wall Street firm in the SEC's history.

Goldman's agreement to pay the British fine could be announced on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times reported online Wednesday. Goldman spokesman Michael DuVally in New York declined to comment to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The FSA was not immediately available to comment.

The Journal said that Goldman will acknowledge an error in its registration as a trader with the British authorities of Fabrice Tourre, a London-based executive accused by the SEC of orchestrating the mortgage-linked securities deal. Tourre was promoted and moved to the company's London office to become executive director of Goldman Sachs International in late 2008. Tourre has denied any wrongdoing and has asked a federal court to throw out the SEC case.

The British regulator announced its investigation in April following pressure from then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who expressed shock at what he called Goldman's "moral bankruptcy" for planning multibillion-dollar bonuses for its staff. The British agency said it would work closely with the SEC.

The mortgage securities at issue in the SEC case cost investors nearly $1 billion while allegedly helping Goldman client Paulson & Co., a billionaire hedge fund manager, capitalize on the housing bust by betting on them to fail.