(Bloomberg) -- Russia’s biggest bank is paying up to keep the nation’s best tech talent from emigrating to Silicon Valley. To analyze 135 million customers, it needs the power of big data.

Sberbank PJSC, which holds 46 percent of Russian retail deposits, says it’s luring experts in the field with some of the highest salaries at the state-owned lender, paying almost $100,000 a year for the most experienced recruits, even as it shrinks its workforce at a 16,000-strong blanch network. The bank will double the number of “data scientists” to 400 over the next three months as it increasingly looks to technology to drive earnings, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Vadim Kulik said in an interview.

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