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Russia’s second-largest lender VTB is winding down its London-based arm of its investment banking unit VTB Capital, reported Reuters.
The bank, which fell under the sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is ‘currently proceeding with an orderly wind-down of its positions and obligations’.
The bank laid off some of its staff working at the unit last week.
The bank is planning to retain some of the employees as caretakers as it moves to shutter its London business, Bloomberg reported.
Earlier this month, the UK’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation issued a licence that allowed VTB to continue paying its staff until March next year.
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It is not clear whether there would be pay cuts. The UK regulators are examining the bank’s books.
The bank has been trimming its London presence in recent years. VTB Capital, which had about 400 staff in London in 2014, reduced employee headcount to around 150 over the years.
Britain froze VTB’s assets shortly after Russia’s ‘military operations’ in Ukraine as part of sanctions to stop the lender from amassing money in London.
This week European regulators announced another round of sanctions, including the prohibition of investments in the Russian energy sector.
Earlier this month, a report by Financial Times said that VTB is planning an exit from Europe in the wake of stringent sanctions.
It was also reported that Germany was seeking to offload the local arm of the bank in a bid to prevent triggering the country’s deposit insurance scheme.