Goldman Sachs banker stripped of licence

Fabrice Tourre, charged with fraud by the SEC, has been stripped of his licence to operate in the City

Fabrice Tourre, the Goldman Sachs banker charged with fraud by the US authorities, has been stripped of his licence to operate in the City of London.

The 31-year-old French man had been registered with the Financial Services Authority to work with clients since November 2008 but today his embattled employers applied to the regulator to de-register him. The firm insisted it had taken the decision without being pressured to do so by the FSA, which has embarked on a formal investigation into the London arm of the Wall Street firm.

The FSA keeps a register of most of the people who work in the City but has different grades of authorisation. Tourre was registered to work with clients and while the FSA's website continues to show he is licensed under number FPT01004 it is understood this is likely to be updated in the coming days, possibly as soon as tomorrow.

A spokeswoman for Goldman in London said: "We decided to de-register him."

However, Tourre has not been suspended by his employers. He remains on the payroll but is now on permanent leave while he and his firm fight the $1bn (£650m) fraud charges brought by the US regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission. Goldman insists it is standing behind its employee.

The revelation last Friday that the SEC was charging Goldman and Tourre with fraud following an 18-month investigation into a complex financial instrument named Abacus sparked the FSA investigation. Goldman is strongly defending itself against the charges and insists that its own internal investigation found that Tourre had done nothing wrong. The SEC alleges that he failed to tell one of the bank's clients, financial firm ACA, that the Abacus collateralised debt obligation was being created to allow hedge fund manager John Paulson to take a big bet that the sub-prime mortgage market would collapse.

The FSA would only say it was a matter for the firm.


Jill Treanor

The GuardianTramp

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