A handful of Goldman Sachs analysts have seen their careers at the investment-banking giant cut short.
Bloomberg News’ Sophia Horta E Costa and Ruth David report that Goldman has fired about 20 analysts in both London and New York for cheating on internal tests.
The dismissals were in the firm’s securities division, according to the report.
Sebastian Howell, a Goldman Sachs spokesman in London, said in a statement: “This conduct was not just a clear violation of the rules, but completely inconsistent with the values we foster at the firm.”
When analysts begin their career at Goldman, they have to enter the Goldman Sachs University training and orientation program. There, they have training across various areas and topics. They have to take tests to make sure they’re learning what they’re being taught. This is something that is commonplace at investment banks.
One former banker from a rival firm said that they used to cheat “all the time.”
He explained that they cheated “not because the [tests] were hard, but because they were a waste of time.”
“[Besides] saving time, there’s no real incentive to cheat on these tests because typically it’s just to get a certification of ‘hours’ for internal compliance training, so your score doesn’t matter, and if you don’t pass, you can take it again. And I don’t think a bank would fire anyone over that.”
Landing an analyst role at Goldman is extremely difficult.
Last year, Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein wrote in a shareholder letter just how competitive it is to get an analyst position at Goldman.
For that analyst class, the investment-banking giant had more than 43,000 candidates apply for 1,900 analyst positions. The bank accepted 4 percent of them, making it harder to get a job at Goldman than to be accepted to Harvard.