Deutsche Bank forced to keep communists’ accounts open

A court spokesman confirmed on Wednesday that the far-left Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD) had forced financial behemoth Deutsche Bank to abandon legal proceedings to close the communist party's bank accounts.

Deutsche Bank forced to keep communists' accounts open
Photo: MLPD

The Essen regional court said Germany’s largest private bank had decided to withdraw its case against the leftist extremists just nine days ahead of the court date.

In a statement entitled “Deutsche Bank hoists the white flag,” MLPD head Stefan Engel called the decision a “small victory” in their fight against what they see as a “systematic illegal political boycott by German banks” against the party.

“[Deutsche Bank] realised that in light of widespread solidarity it had lost the case that went against public opinion. Now they definitely want to avoid a verdict,” he said.

The MLPD will now be allowed to maintain its six accounts, which it said are to be worth some €15 million invested predominately in real estate. Deutsche Bank must now also pay the costs of the court case, which lasted for several months.

While some might find the party’s choice to open accounts at such a financial institution ironic, or even disloyal to their cause of toppling what they call the “capitalist monopoly,” the reasons are purely practical, according to the website of weekly news magazine Der Spiegel.

A party spokesperson told the magazine that though members had tried, it was “not easy” for the extreme leftist organisation to get new accounts.

Deutsche Bank did not wish to comment on the case, Der Spiegel said.

Meanwhile the case has riled supporters into increasing donations for the Gelsenkirchen-based party, which has about 2,000 members nationwide, according to the North Rhine-Westphalia domestic intelligence service.

Some €70,000 has been deposited into the controversial Deutsche Bank account in just a few weeks, the magazine said.

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Deutsche Bank set ‘to cut ties with Trump’

Deutsche Bank will cease its longstanding relationship with outgoing US president Donald Trump, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

Deutsche Bank set 'to cut ties with Trump'
Deutsche Bank's headquarters in Frankfurt. Photo: DPA

Deutsche Bank was Trump's primary lender for two decades, and he owes the institution more than $300 million, according to the newspaper, which cited an unnamed source as saying the German lender “has decided not to do business with Mr. Trump or his company in the future.”

Deutsche Bank declined to comment to AFP.

The move comes on the heels of last week's violent attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters at the president's incitement, and follows steps taken by other companies to cut ties with Trump and his businesses.

READ ALSO: Trump under investigation for Deutsche Bank ties

Christiana Riley, head of Deutsche Bank's US division, called the violent
siege on the Capital “a dark day for America and our democracy” in a post on LinkedIn last week.

“We are proud of our Constitution and stand by those who seek to uphold it to ensure that the will of the people is upheld and a peaceful transition of power takes place,” Riley said.

“It is my hope that these shocking events will result in a reinvigoration
of the principles our nation was built upon.”

Trump's relationship with Deutsche Bank has sparked numerous probes in the United States, including in New York, where the Manhattan District Attorney is investigating whether Trump committed financial crimes as he sought loans.

READ ALSO: 'Worlds between us': What Trump's German family's town thinks of him today