October 16, 2012 / 2:31 PM / in 5 years

Goldman will not take more risk until confidence returns: new CFO

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc will not increase risk-taking until market conditions improve and client confidence returns, incoming Chief Financial Officer Harvey Schwartz said on Tuesday.

“It is still a market environment where we are remaining pretty defensive ... I think you should assume that we will stay conservative for the time being, certainly,” Schwartz said on a conference call with analysts to discuss third-quarter results.

Schwartz and current CFO David Viniar, who is retiring at the end of January, struck a cautious tone on the call, saying that the company is trying to maintain the right balance between cutting costs and being prepared for a time when trading volumes and deal activity start to rise again.

The bank is nearly through with a cost-cutting program that aims to reduce annual expenses by $1.9 billion, Viniar said. Goldman has also started another program to reduce risk-weighted assets by $88 billion in order to meet stricter capital standards.

Reporting By Lauren Tara LaCapra; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick

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