Goldman Sachs posts third straight quarter of sliding profits

Lauren Fedor
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Goldman Sachs chairman and chief executive Lloyd Blankfein (Source: Getty)

Goldman Sachs reported a sharp drop in fourth-quarter profit today, after a $5bn (£3.5bn) legal settlement weighed on the investment bank's costs in the last three months of 2015.

Goldman reported a 71.8 per cent fall in net income applicable to common shareholders to $574m, or $1.27 per share, from $2.03bn, or $4.38 per share, a year earlier.

The bank said last week that a legal settlement with US authorities related to its handling of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis would reduce fourth-quarter earnings by $1.5bn after taxes.

This morning's results mark the third straight quarter of sliding profits for the New York-based bank.

Goldman is the last of the big US banks to release fourth-quarter earnings. Bank of America topped Wall Street's expectations yesterday, as did Morgan Stanley.

Goldman Sachs shares were trading near their 52-week low yesterday amid broader market turmoil. Goldman shares dropped 13 per cent last year, compared to a 10 per cent decline on the Standard & Poor's Financials Index.

Goldman Sachs Chairman and chief executive Lloyd Blankfein revealed last autumn that had been diagnosed with lymphoma.

Blankfein, 61, said at the time that he planned to "work substantially as normal, leading the firm" while undergoing treatment.

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