Published July 16, 2013
NEW YORK – Analysts pressured Goldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Financial Officer Harvey Schwartz on Tuesday to disclose how close the bank is to meeting new leverage ratio requirements proposed last week by regulators.
In a conference call, eight analysts asked questions about the ratio, but Schwartz refused to provide an estimate of where Goldman stands.
"Our first assessment is we're very comfortable with where we are," he said, later adding that "the only reason I'm not being more specific about numbers at this stage is the team really hasn't had the time to go through the kind of diligence that we would normally want them to."
Schwartz also cautioned that the rule is not final, and may change before being implemented. As it stands, banks will have to hold equity capital equal to 6 percent of total assets at bank subsidiaries and 5 percent of total assets at broader holding companies by 2018.
CLSA analyst Mike Mayo questioned Schwartz aggressively about the lack of disclosure, asking him to give some kind of estimate.
"What I hear you saying is, 'Trust us, we will be there,'" said Mayo. "On the other hand, you're not disclosing a number like your peers have done and perhaps other peers will do. So on a disclosure basis, you're behind peers."
Other large banks that have reported earnings in recent days, including JPMorgan Chase & Co , Wells Fargo & Co and Citigroup Inc , have all made disclosures about estimated leverage ratios under new rules.
(Reporting by Lauren Tara LaCapra; Editing by John Wallace)