Deutsche Bank is being looked into by finance regulators for giving the Trump family hundreds of loans over the past 20 years. Three people told The New York Times anonymously on Wednesday that the loans, which are worth billions, were being examined.
Deutsche Bank has also been contacted informally by members of special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s team of investigators in relation to his ongoing probe in to the White House’s links with Russia, they said.
According to the unnamed sources, there is no connection between Trump’s business accounts at the bank and Russia. Deutsche Bank has its Russian connection. It was previously fined hundreds of millions of dollars by regulators in the U.S. and UK for flouting compliance laws and appearing to allow Russian customers to carry out money laundering.
Democrats have previously voiced concern over the fact that the president holds hundreds of millions of dollars of personal debt with the bank despite its murky ties to Russia.
Sources close to the issue said there was no connection whatsoever between Trump’s accounts and Russian money but the possibility of industry scrutiny adds another dimension to the president’s complex history with the German bank. President Trump has long relied on Deutsche Bank for loans to keep his real estate empire afloat.
In the 1990s, he turned to the German institution for support after being turned down by American institutions. He borrowed billions to prop up his growing global empire but the relationship hit a stumbling block in 2008.
Trump had secured a $640 million loan from Deutsche Bank’s real estate division to fund the construction of Trump Tower in Chicago. When the bank came calling for a $40 million payment, he reneged and instead sued the bank for $3 billion, claiming it was partially to blame for the Global Financial Crisis which had rendered him unable to meet the loan requirements.
Eventually, the dispute was settled by borrowing from the private wealth division but it’s not clear why that branch ever granted him a loan given the ongoing problems. He continued to receive loans from the private wealth division afterwards. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are also customers with the German bank.