Average pay shared out by Goldman Sachs staff fell by 4% in 2013 amid what its boss called a "challenging environment" - but it still worked out at £234,110.

Around 6000 UK employees of the US banking giant were among those to share in the £7.7 billion pay and bonuses pot for the year, but the sum was 2% lower than the year before.

With staff numbers rising 2% to 32,900 it meant average remuneration was squeezed from the £243,988 for 2012.

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The fall is unlikely to attract much public sympathy, especially as the compensation and benefits figure for the fourth quarter - as Wall Street banks made final decisions on bonuses - rose 11% to £1.34bn.

Details emerged as Goldman revealed profits from October to December fell 21% to £1.37bn as revenue from mortgages and trading in financial instruments weakened. But earnings beat forecasts, as did revenues, which fell 5% to £5.37bn.

Chief executive Lloyd Blankfein said that the group had worked to keep costs down "to provide solid returns even in a somewhat challenging environment".

The decline came despite a 22% jump in revenues from Goldman's investment banking business in the fourth quarter to £1.05bn.

For 2013 as a whole, group profits rose 6% to £4.72bn.

Goldman's figures come around a year after it was forced to back down on plans to defer bonus payments to UK staff until the new financial year, after then Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King attacked the move as it would have allowed bankers to benefit from the cut in the top rate of income tax from 50p to 45p.