Russian bank VTB Bank Europe today revealed a large letting in the City, bucking the trend of financial institutions shelving their expansion plans because of the affects of the worldwide credit crunch.

VTB has taken the top five floors at IVG Asticus Real Estate’s 166,000 sq ft at 14 Cornhill on a 20 year lease. It will pay an initial rent of more than £3.5m a year equating to about £60/ sq ft.

The deal comes at a time when many financial organisations, particularly banks are shelving their expansion requirements. Only last month, global bank Macquarie put its expansion plans for new headquarters in London and New York on ice while others have halted their recruitment drives while liquidity issues dominate the global economy.

14 Cornhill was purchased by IVG as part of a property swap with Lloyds Bank in 2002.

DTZ and Savills advised IVG Asticus Real Estate and Cushman & Wakefield advised VTB Bank Europe.