Russia’s Alfa Bank will close its New York office and slim down its London operation, according to Bloomberg.
The scaling back of operations reflects the “level of interest in the Russian market” Alfa’s Moscow spokesman told Bloomberg. Russian firms have been under increasing pressure due to US and European sanctions, which have effectively frozen them out of international capital markets. The sanctions were imposed as a response to Russian actions in Ukraine.
The spokesman confirmed that the scaling back would affect the London office, but that the bank’s Cyprus office, which employs 40, would be unaffected. The New York operation only employs four staff, all salespeople.
Several Russian banks have taken a pummelling, including Sobinbank, which has announced it will only allow customers to withdraw cash in branch, and not via ATM. Its rule will come in on 31 January.