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Sanctions, Brexit prompt VTB to cut London headcount

Russian state-owned VTB Bank PJSC reduced its headcount in London to 250 in January from 350 in mid-2017 as it continued to face U.S. and EU sanctions over Russia's involvement in the 2014 Crimean crisis, Financial News reported.

"We definitely have to deal with questions regarding sanctions," Alex Metherell, VTB's co-head of global banking, reportedly said. "It's a drag on our ability to grow our own organization."

Metherell added that some London employees were moved to Frankfurt due to the U.K.'s impending exit from the EU.

In September 2018, an EU court upheld sanctions imposed on Russian banks, as well as oil and gas companies, over Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014.