Job cuts signal bank's belt-tightening

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GOLDMAN SACHS began its expected redundancy programme yesterday when it announced that 70 jobs will go in London and New York. The redundancies, 14 of which are in London, are the first of 900 job losses planned worldwide.

The cuts come in the same week as the bank announced the appointment of new partners - positions that almost guarantee millionaire status.

So far the redundancies have come from the fixed-income and J Aron commodities divisions, but cuts are expected in other departments. Those affected include sales and trading staff.

Goldman Sachs said: 'Due to the prolonged industry-wide turndown, some belt-tightening has been necessary. We are confident that by taking the right steps now, even though they might be painful, we will do as well as possible while conditions remain difficult and emerge stronger when conditions improve.'

The bank has experienced difficulties this year as a result of turmoil in bond and equity markets. Profits for the six months to May are thought to be down two-thirds on levels a year earlier at dollars 440m.

Goldman's trading operation suffered big losses in derivatives when the US Federal Reserve reversed the trend in US interest rates last winter. In February alone, the firm lost dollars 150m.