Goldman Sachs Faces a 20 Million Pound Slap on the Wrist in the UK


Wall Street titan Goldman Sachs (GS) has been fined £20 million ($31 million) by British financial authorities for failing to disclose it was under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission -- an inquest which ultimately led to July's blockbuster $550 million stateside fine.

The UK fine was imposed by Britain's Financial Services Authority, which regulates London's financial services industry.

The Financial Times first reported the news Wednesday on its website and said a formal announcement could be forthcoming as early as Thursday.

The UK fine is about $10 million less than Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein's (pictured) 2008 bonus. Goldman has made over $4 billion in profit so far this year, so the UK fine is basically one day's lunch money. Still, the fine is one of the heaviest ever imposed by the FSA, according to the BBC.

Following the SEC Leader

The SEC sued Goldman in April, charging that the gold-plated bank defrauded investors by failing to disclose key details about a complex financial product tied to subprime mortgages just as the housing market was about to tank -- which Goldman's internal, proprietary desk was betting would happen.

The SEC said Goldman failed to properly disclose the role played by hedge fund honcho John Paulson, who made a fortune betting against the housing market, in picking the securities in the controversial portfolio.

Goldman's actions cost investors $1 billion, the SEC said. Goldman shares are up nearly 10% since its settlement with the SEC. The investment bank did not admit to wrongdoing, but paid a $550 million fine.

Goldman, once the platinum standard for integrity on Wall Street, has seen its reputation battered as a result of the SEC investigation and the firm's role in the financial meltdown. Goldman has had to battle the perception that it puts its own interests ahead of its clients.

The company insists it did nothing wrong, but was instead helping the US economy throughout the crisis and beyond, because it makes markets for financial products and adds liquidity to the financial system.