Goldman Sachs fired two employees after one obtained and distributed confidential information its main regulator, Goldman said in an internal memo obtained by AFP.
The more junior of the two employees obtained the information from his former employer, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which regulates Goldman and other banks.
Goldman also fired the employee's direct supervisor, who "failed to escalate the issue," according to the Goldman memo. The investment bank also notified the New York Fed of the incident.
"We have zero tolerance for improper handling of confidential information," said Goldman spokesman Michael Duvally.
According to the New York Times, the junior Goldman employee is believed to have obtained confidential supervisory information about a midsized bank advised by Goldman from a former colleague at the Fed.
The junior employee then shared the information with others at Goldman. The Times said the New York Fed employee has also since been fired.
The New York Fed said it contacted law enforcement officials as soon as it learned of the incident. The regulator said it has "a record of zero tolerance" for officials who leak confidential information.
"The New York Fed understands that it is entrusted with the most sensitive information relating to the financial sector," the central bank said. "If such information is disclosed, it could be market moving or it might interfere with an important governmental program."
The incident comes amid heightened focus on the cozy ties between bank regulators and large banks, as well as on the "revolving door" culture in which workers shuffle between regulatory agencies and the companies they oversee.
A former New York Fed regulator, Carmen Segarra has alleged that it softened and suppressed her efforts to regulate Goldman Sachs activities due to overly chummy relations with the industry.
The head of the New York Fed, William Dudley, a former Goldman Sachs executive, is scheduled to testify at a Senate hearing on the subject on Friday.