Goldman Sachs, the country's fifth-largest bank by assets, plans to hire 1,000 people in Singapore while laying off a significant number of workers at home, according to Fox Business News.
What's more, the investment bank plans on making the decision known to Congress even before telling its own shareholders, fearful of backlash. The jobs are “high-paying, skilled positions in sales and investment banking," according to one person familiar with the matter. Or, in other words, the Singapore hires will be filling the same sort of positions that are being cut in the United States.
News of hiring in Singapore comes at the same time the company has announced plans to cut costs and, more specifically, jobs. Over the coming year, Goldman Sachs plans to cut 10 percent of non-compensation expenses, or $1 billion in costs. The investment bank already laid off five percent of its traders in March and plans to lay off the most underperforming five percent of its staff later this year, according to Reuters.
Goldman's stock price has also suffered this year, falling to roughly $130 by June 27. On January 14, Goldman Sachs stock was priced at $175. Goldman's legal costs have also been high in order to combat a slew of lawsuits. In 2010, the investment bank spent $700 million on lawyers.
Goldman's actions are part of a larger shift in an financial industry that as recently as last year was accounting for nearly one-third of all U.S. profits. Indeed, in 2011, Wall Street has been cutting a significant number of jobs, and plans to cut even more. The financial sector has outlined 21 percent more layoffs this year than last year.
As many investment banks shift to paying staffers more in the form of salaries rather than bonuses, some have decided that they do not need as many bankers as they once did, according to the Wall Street Journal. The collective bonus pool at Manhattan banks and brokerages fell 8 percent last year, even while total compensation rose six percent, according to a February report by the New York State Comptroller's office, the WSJ wrote.
Banks have been particularly worried about the unknown implications of implementing financial reform, with the large-lobbying institutions are actually increasing spending this year when compared to next to fight a slew of issues including capital requirements and reductions in swipe fees.
Goldman's hiring spree in Singapore is only the most recent overseas expansion, too. The investment bank also plans to increase its workforce in Brazil by about 20 percent this year, according to Bloomberg News. Goldman's Brazilian unit already grew to 300 from 200 last year, when the Brazilian economy grew more than twice as quickly as in the U.S.