Goldman’s tax bill unveiled as Blankfein talks

GOLDMAN Sachs has put aside $684m (£424m) for its 2011 UK tax bill, two thirds more than it has budgeted for the previous year, it was revealed yesterday as chief executive Lloyd Blankfein spoke out to defend the banks’ corporate culture.

Although the bank has so far only paid over $6.6m to the exchequer for its 2011 activities, it now expects to have to stump up hundreds of millions.

The predicted tax bill for 2011 is significantly higher than the equivalent figure for 2010, which totals $412m. The increase is due to the profits booked through its UK entity rising from $1.2bn to $3.1bn although the latter figure includes a $1.8bn accounting gain on staff share pay-outs, which is currently non-taxable.

The figures were revealed in the annual report for the bank’s UK entity, Goldman Sachs International, which break down its British tax bill in more detail.

•The news came as Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein last night ended a two-year media silence to defend the bank’s corporate culture, and reject a former employee’s criticism. Goldman’s mantra remained “always put the client first”, Blankfein said in a CNBC TV interview.