Goldman Said To Have Threatened Major Relocation Of UK Staff

The Independent On Sunday reports that Goldman Sachs has 'threatened' the UK Treasury that it will relocate up to 20% of its London-based staff to Spain in protest at the bank bonus tax.

According to the newspaper, the firm may well be taking a stance as a bargaining position, although one banker told us: 'A bargaining position for what ? There's no way the UK government will start making exceptions to this tax, especially not to Goldman Sachs. If this story does actually have legs (and I doubt it), then Goldman better not be bluffing, as the Labour government will have no option but to call it'.

Another banker said: 'A move to Spain ? Outrageous. Why would anyone want to go work in a country where the women are beautiful, the air is clean, the sea is blue, and the weather is hot. Now wouldn't that be quite awful'. A Goldman insider, however, told us that the story was 'total rubbish'.

In the meantime, Reuters reports that Goldman is 'quietly backing away' from the life settlements business; buying up life insurance policies from elderly Americans in order to collect death benefits. The news agency says that the business hasn't proved to be that commercial. One banker told Here Is The City: 'Making money out of dead people might not be a good PR move for Goldman these days, so this is probably smart - especially if there's no real money in it'.

Finally, The Sunday Telegraph reports that hundreds of non-Brit bankers at firms like BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JPMorgan and Societe Generale are said to have asked to move outside the UK to countries with less harsh tax regimes. Already angry at the 50% higher rate tax coming into force next April, the UK bank bonus tax appears to have been the last straw for many.

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