FCA Fines Goldman Sachs £34.3 Million for Reporting Failures

Firm allegedly made more than 220 million errors over nearly a decade.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Goldman Sachs International £34.3 million ($44.7 billion) for failing to provide accurate and timely reporting relating to hundreds of millions of transaction reports over the course of nearly a decade.

The FCA said Goldman Sachs International failed to ensure it provided complete, accurate, and timely information for approximately 213.6 million reportable transactions, while also erroneously reporting 6.6 million transactions to the FCA, which were not reportable. The regulator said that over a period of nine and a half years, Goldman Sachs International made a total of 220.2 million errors in its transaction reporting, breaching FCA rules.

“The failings in this case demonstrate a failure over an extended period to manage and test controls that are vitally important to the integrity of our markets,” Mark Steward, the FCA’s executive director of enforcement and market oversight, said in a release. “These were serious and prolonged failures.”

A transaction report is a data set submitted to the FCA that relates to an individual financial market transaction, such as details of the product traded, the firm that undertook the trade, the trade counterparty, the client, and the trade characteristics, price, quantity, and venue.

The FCA uses the information from transaction reports to monitor for market abuse, firm supervision, market supervision, and for sharing with certain external parties, such as the Bank of England.

The FCA said Goldman Sachs International failed to take reasonable care to organize and control its affairs responsibly and effectively regarding its transaction reporting.  It said the failings related to aspects of the firm’s change management processes, its maintenance of the counterparty reference data used in its reporting, and how it tested whether all the transactions it reported to the FCA were accurate and complete.

Accurate and complete transaction reporting helps underwrite market integrity and supervise firms and markets, said the FCA. In particular, the regulator said transaction reports help it identify potential instances of market abuse and combat financial crime.

Because Goldman Sachs International agreed to resolve the case, it qualified for a 30% discount in the overall penalty. Without this discount, the FCA would have imposed a financial penalty of just over £49 million.

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