In a report released Tuesday, the New York investment bank said it would begin disclosing more information about how it makes money and ensure that its business practices put the interests of its clients first.
It's a bid to placate wary clients and quell public anger against the firm, which is known for paying large bonuses. Goldman agreed to reform its business practices as part of a $550 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission in July.
In a video released along with the report, CEO Lloyd Blankfein said Goldman has been subject to "considerable scrutiny" in the aftermath of the financial crisis. He said the review was an "opportunity to engage in thorough self-assessment and consider how we can and should improve."
However, experts say some of the steps the bank is planning don't go deep enough.
"Conflicts are unavoidable when your business model relies on your getting wealthy at someone else's expense," said Lynn Stout, a professor of corporate and securities law at UCLA. Investment banks like Goldman "have focused on trying to make trading profits for themselves rather than helping corporations raise capital for new investments."
Goldman said the 63-page report is the result of an eight-month internal review that began after Goldman was accused of misleading clients about complex mortgage investments.
The SEC sued Goldman last April, saying it sold an investment put together by hedge fund manager John Paulson that was designed to fail. Goldman and Paulson made money from the investment, while investors lost more than $1 billion.
Goldman's clients were furious. BayernLB bank of Germany cut its business ties to the firm after the SEC lawsuit, and last week ACA Financial Guaranty Corporation sued Goldman over the same investment.
Goldman commissioned an independent survey of its clients as part of its review.
Clients said "that, in some circumstances, the firm weighs its interests and short-term incentives too heavily," the report said.
Goldman says it will now disclose any "perceived conflicts" to clients.
Goldman will start disclosing more information about its revenues beginning with its fourth-quarter results, which come out a week from today.