correspondent banking business in the nations of the former Soviet Union in the wake of a yearlong federal investigation into possible money laundering by Russians through the bank.

The $63 billion-asset company aggressively courted contacts in Russia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. It now plans to slash its correspondent relationships in the region, most of them in Russia, from 300 to "under 100" over the next few months, sources familiar with the bank said.

Bank of New York continues to cooperate with an international law enforcement probe that is examining whether nine accounts at the bank were used to siphon up to $10 billion from Russia to other countries. Some of the funds reportedly may have links to organized crime.

The sources said the scale-back is related to the investigation, but they added that the bank's business in the region has slowed since last year's Russian ruble crisis. Bank of New York has a network of 2,300 correspondents overseas.

-- Liz Moyer

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