Goldman Sachs’ most recent controversy has sent its workplace reputation with consumers below 2008 – 2009 financial crisis days in the US.
Goldman Sachs’ current reputation level has fallen close to the levels seen during their biggest public crisis in the last four years – the 2010 S.E.C. civil lawsuit claiming the bank created and sold a mortgage investment that was secretly intended to fail.
In perspective, Goldman Sachs’ consumer perception as a place to work had been mostly lagging behind its investment bank competitors before last week’s NY Times op-ed was published, broken with periodic but short-lived bright spots as recent as early this month.
For our research, Goldman Sachs is being measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s reputation score, which asks respondents: "Would you be proud or embarrassed to work for this brand?" YouGov BrandIndex created a composite average of the reputation scores of UBS, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan for comparison purposes.
YouGov BrandIndex measurement scores range from 100 to -100 and are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback.
Goldman Sachs’ current reputation score is -36, compared to its rivals’ composite average of -4. During the time of the spring 2010 S.E.C suit, Goldman’s reputation score bottomed out at -44. During that same period, competing investment banks were in the single negative digits and briefly crossed into positive numbers.
The lowest reputation score Goldman Sachs had during the 2008 – 2009 financial meltdown was -30 in April 2009 compared to a -23 for rivals in February the same year. Before September 2008, Goldman’s reputation score hovered in positive territory between 10 and 12, while rivals came in the modestly higher 13 to 19 range.