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Nov 17, 2020

Goldman plans second round of job cuts after pause for pandemic

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. logo Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg

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Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is preparing to trim its workforce for the second time in just three months, as a moratorium on firings during the pandemic gives way to a push to improve efficiency.

This round isn’t expected to exceed the roughly 400 positions the bank began eliminating in September, according to people with knowledge of the matter. But executives expect to go deeper in the coming year, in what could eventually amount to one of the most significant staff reductions at the bank as it looks to deliver on a promise to rein in costs.

Big U.S. banks including Goldman Sachs pledged early this year to refrain from broad firings as the pandemic erupted across the country. But the industry’s resolve has frayed as the virus has persisted, leaving executives to refocus on earlier cost-cutting initiatives. Goldman had laid out a target in January to eliminate more than US$1 billion in expenses, and it has been examining how to meet that goal.

A spokeswoman for the bank reiterated its statement from September. “At the outbreak of the pandemic, the firm announced that it would suspend any job reductions,” the company said at the time. “The firm has made a decision to move forward with a modest number of layoffs.”