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Goldman Sachs was fined $3 million after it mixed up millions of ‘short’ sale orders as ‘long.’ The culprit was one missing line of code.

Goldman SachsGoldman Sachs was fined $3 million by industry-backed regulator Finra.

AP

  • Finra fined Goldman Sachs $3 million for mixing up 60 million short sale orders.
  • The stock orders were mismarked as long sales between October 2015 and April 2018.
  • GS failed to include a single line of computer code during a software upgrade, which led to the mishap.

A Wall Street watchdog, the US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or Finra, hit Goldman Sachs with a $3 million fine for mixing up 60 million stock orders, the brokerage regulator said in a Tuesday filing.

The culprit? A single line of missing code in a software update.

Goldman Sachs had mismarked “short” sales orders totaling more than 14 billion shares as “long” sales orders between October 2015 and April 2018, per the filing, which was signed by both, Finra and the investment banking giant. 

Short sales mean selling stocks the entity does not currently own. Vice versa, long sales mean the entity is selling stocks it currently owns. 

Of the 60 million incorrectly marked orders, Goldman Sachs executed nearly eight million, Finra said. 

Further, Goldman’s mismarked orders led to 12,335 short orders being executed while a short-sale circuit breaker was in place, per the filing. The document did not disclose the monetary value or the loss or profit from the affected shares.

The orders were incorrectly marked because Goldman “inadvertently failed” to include a single line of computer code during an upgrade to its automated trading software.”The firm immediately fixed this coding error after being notified by Finra in April 2018,” according to the document.

The development comes amid heightened scrutiny on financial institutions and their regulators following the collapse of several banks globally in March. Finra has slapped fines on several broker-dealers — including UBS Securities and Nomura Securities — for breaching US securities laws and its own rules earlier this year. 

Goldman accepted and consented to Finra’s findings “without admitting or denying them,” the filing states.

Insider was unable to reach Goldman Sachs via phone lines outside regular business hours. A spokesperson declined to comment to Bloomberg on Wednesday.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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