LONDON, Oct 11 (IFR) - Russian bank VTB said it could reduce
staffing in its investment bank in London, but the decision
hinges on the outcome of Britain's talks to leave the European
Britain voted to leave the EU in a referendum in June but it
is unclear whether that will mean the country leaves the single
market and its benefits, including the ability of financial
firms regulated in London to be able to provide services
throughout the EU.
The Russian state-controlled bank already has the
headquarters of its European "sub-holding" in Vienna, giving it
a base to operate from within the EU. That is used to operate
its Austrian, German and French businesses from.
The bank's investment banking division, VTB Capital, is
based in London.
"Relocating from London or maintaining our presence there
will depend on how Brexit unfolds," the bank said after the
Financial Times reported the bank may move its investment bank
unit out of Britain. "Due to Brexit, VTB will be adjusting its
activities in London but there is no intention of closing our
The bank said it had no current plans to move its European
base from Vienna. "The HQ will continue to operate unchanged."
That could change as part of its strategy for 2019, which
has yet to be decided. "The issue of VTB Group's European
headquarters is being carefully considered."
Frankfurt and Paris may be considered as alternative
locations and a decision will be taken later this year. However,
London is no longer being considered as an option.
"We did have bigger plans for the London office, but after
Brexit we are scaling them down and building them up elsewhere,"
VTB chief financial officer Herbert Moos told the FT in an
There has been persistent speculation that banks could move
investment bankers out of London as a result of Brexit.
Ahead of the referendum HSBC said it might move 1,000 jobs
to Paris and Morgan Stanley had said it could make more use of
its Dublin office. Goldman Sachs was reported last weekend to be
considering moving 2,000 people from London, but it subsequently
said no decisions had been made.
As an entity 61%-owned by the state, VTB has been subject to
sanctions by the EU. That has not prevented it being active in
the Russian capital markets this year, most notably being the
sole adviser to the sovereign on its return to the capital
markets in May with a US$1.75bn 10-year 4.75% bond issue.
It has advised on 55 Russian DCM deals in the first nine
months of this year, which raised US$9bn cumulatively, giving it
a 49.5% share of the Russian market.
(Reporting by Christopher Spink; Editing by Ian Edmondson)