Trump under investigation for Deutsche Bank ties

A pair of US congressional committees now under Democratic control have begun probing Deutsche Bank's business dealings with President Donald Trump, a spokesperson for the German bank said Thursday.

Trump under investigation for Deutsche Bank ties
Deutsche Bank's headquarters in Frankfurt

The inquiry is a joint effort between House Intelligence Committee Chairman
Adam Schiff and House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters, two prominent Trump critics who have gained significant investigatory powers with the Democratic victory in the November midterm elections.

“The Bank has received an inquiry from the House Financial Services and
Intelligence Committees,” a Deutsche Bank spokesperson told AFP.

Deutsche Bank was one of the only large western banks to continue to lend
to Trump following bankruptcies of his casinos and other businesses in the
1990s. The German bank in recent years has loaned Trump about $300 million.

“The House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees are engaged in
productive discussions with Deutsche Bank, and look forward to continued
cooperation,” Schiff and Waters said in a joint statement.

SEE ALSO: Deutsche Bank snubs US demand for Trump family data

The bank spokesperson declined to elaborate on the nature of the questions
nor clarify if the committees had issued a subpoena, which can lead to
sanctions if the recipient subject refuses to cooperate.

“Deutsche Bank is engaged in a productive dialogue with those Committees to
determine the best and most appropriate way of assisting them in their official oversight functions,” the spokesperson said. “We remain committed to
providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations.”

A person familiar with the matter said the lawmakers are seeking
information on whether Deutsche Bank provided loans on favorable terms to the Trump organization, which now is led by the president's sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr.

Growing scrutiny

The lawmakers also are seeking details on who was involved in a money laundering case in Russia that resulted in a $630 million US fine against the
bank in January 2017, the source added.

Democratic lawmakers in May 2017 requested information from Deutsche Bank over its dealings with the Trump family, but the German bank said at the time that it would not cooperate because the information was private.

Growing scrutiny over Deutsche Bank's relationship with Trump adds to the
list of concerns facing the bank.

In November, German prosecutors raided several Deutsche Bank offices in the Frankfurt area over suspicions of money laundering based on revelations from the 2016 “Panama Papers” data leak.

The US Federal Reserve also is investigating Deutsche Bank over billions of
dollars in suspicious transactions from Denmark's Danske Bank A/S, Bloomberg News reported.

In November, Deutsche Bank confirmed that it also received inquiries from
German regulators over Danske.

Deutsche Bank has said it had a “limited role” in relation to Danske, which has been charged in its home country over a massive money-laundering scandal.

SEE ALSO: US asks Deutsche Bank for info on Flynn-linked transactions

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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