Goldman Sachs Group Inc is offering to lend money to more than 1,000 staff who have been squeezed by the financial crisis, the New York Times said.

The loans, offered via email last week to help employees meet capital demands from the internal funds, could range from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands, though it is unclear how many bankers and traders will take up the offer.

One former Goldman partner estimated that a quarter of the bank's roughly 100 partners are now worth $5 million or less because of losses on their company stock and other investments, according to the paper.

Employees in the elite funds are contractually obligated to meet requests for more capital, the paper said, adding that several funds have capital calls scheduled for April. Staff who fail to make the payments risk losing their jobs.

A spokesman for Goldman Sachs confirmed the existence of the loan program to the paper but declined to elaborate.

Goldman could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters.

(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; editing by John Stonestreet)