Goldman Sachs has urged the UK and EU to be “prudent and thoughtful” in the looming Brexit negotiations, as the US investment bank shrugged off the uncertainty caused by the referendum to post forecast-beating profits.
Speaking as the bank reported a 74pc surge in second-quarter profits, Harvey Schwartz, its finance chief, told analysts that the firm was “completely committed to our clients in the region” despite the surprise vote to leave the EU.
He added that Goldman was “hopeful” that talks Britain and Europe “will be prudent and thoughtful because obviously for all of us a thoughtful negotiation and outcome would just be good for economic growth”.
Even though Goldman’s customers became more cautious as the June 23 vote approached, overall the bank enjoyed a strong quarter, with net income climbing to $1.82bn, or $3.72 a share, from $1.05bn a year earlier, when it was hit by $1.45bn in legal charges and expenses.
Investors this year had been expecting earnings per share of about $3.
Net revenues slid 13pc from a year earlier to $7.93bn but that was still higher than the $7.55bn the market had forecast.
Lower legal costs and cost cutting, including a 5pc fall in staff numbers since the end of March, helped it to counter the revenue decline.
Although the results represented a recovery from a torrid first quarter for the bank, Goldman shares fell 0.9pc in early trading in New York because revenues at its trading business only rose a disappointing 2pc to $3.68bn.
The bank’s Wall Street rivals have posted much bigger increases in recent days, with JPMorgan reporting a 25pc leap in trading revenues.