Goldman Sachs Group Inc is on pace to make record bonus payouts after a robust first half, the Guardian newspaper reported on Sunday.

Goldman staff in London were briefed on the outlook and told they could look forward to the bonus hikes if the company registers its most profitable year ever, the report said.

The surge in projected profit can be attributed to a lack of competition and increased revenue from trading foreign currency, bonds and fixed-income products, the newspaper said, citing insiders at the firm.

Bonuses have been a point of contention between the Obama administration and Wall Street, which last fall endured a credit crisis that paralyzed the financial markets. The U.S. Treasury responded with the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which made $700 billion in loans available to banks.

Goldman Sachs received $10 billion from TARP, which it repaid last week.

In letters to lawmakers last week, Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein said the firm is obligated to ensure that compensation reflects the true performance of the firm and motivates proper behavior.

A Goldman Sachs spokesman in New York was not immediately available to comment on Monday.

(Reporting by Steve Eder; editing by John Wallace)