Four employees, including Hari Moorthy, the head of transaction banking, were among the people let go following a violation of the firm’s communication policy, the publications reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
“We are not going to comment on individual disciplinary matters. As a general matter, we take our communications policy seriously, and we expect all of our personnel to comply with it,” Goldman said in a statement. “Goldman Sachs remains fully committed to our transaction banking business.”
The executives did not comply with the company rule that states employees must discuss business matters on firm-approved communication channels and failed to cooperate with the bank’s compliance department, according to the memo.
Moorthy did not respond to a request for comment from the outlets.
Philip Berlinski, Goldman’s treasurer, will oversee the transaction banking business along with Akila Raman and Luc Teboul. Berlinski is also the interim head of the lender’s financial technology and consumer business, Reuters noted.
Transaction banking is one of Goldman’s new ventures, launched in 2020. At its investor day in February, Goldman praised the young business for its profitability while highlighting its potential growth in the future.
However, a segment of Goldman’s transaction banking business stopped accepting higher-risk clients after the Federal Reserve warned the lender of insufficient due diligence and monitoring processes involving its partnerships with fintechs, the Financial Times reported in August, citing people familiar with the matter. Some employees of the transaction banking division also flagged Goldman’s tendency to minimize risks, sources told the publication at the time.
Recordkeeping has become an issue to watch out for in recent years. U.S. regulators have fined 11 firms this summer, including Wells Fargo, BNP Paribas, BMO, Mizuho, and Societe Generale, as they continue to crack down on corporate employees’ use of “off-channel” communications like WhatsApp for business purposes. That followed another wave of penalties last October.
Goldman agreed to pay $5.5 million to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission last month to settle its charges of failing to track staff mobile phone calls and for breaching an order from November 2019.