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Report: VTB seeks single license for EU units

JSC VTB Bank plans to integrate the operations of its units in Germany, France and Austria under a single EU license and is waiting for ECB approval, Kommersant reported Jan. 18, citing VTB CEO Andrey Kostin.

The headquarters of the merged bank would be in Frankfurt, whose role in the European financial market will grow after Britain leaves the EU, Kostin said.

The integration will help VTB reduce costs and optimize its business processes in Europe, the newspaper noted. VTB's deputy head, Yuri Soloviev, told Kommersant that 20% to 30% of staff at the units could be cut, from a total combined workforce of about 300.

PAO Sberbank of Russia is also considering a similar step for its EU units, the newspaper said, citing a source close to the lender. Sberbank's EU operations include subsidiaries in Austria, Hungary, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Croatia, the news report noted.

It groups the bulk of its European operations in Sberbank Europe AG.