By Dan Byrne for AMLi
DEUTSCHE BANK appears to be on the brink of cutting ties with Donald Trump completely, as the fallout from the storming of the United States Capitol continues.
The move would apply not just to the outgoing President himself, but to the entire Trump organisation. No new dealings between them and the bank would take place, except of course for the repayment of some $340 million (€290 million) in debt that the President still owes.
Deutsche’s rumoured intentions to split with Trump are not new, with the bank said to have already been “tired” of the negative publicity that stemmed from many years of association with the President.
But the riot on Capitol Hill last Wednesday seems to be the final straw. The New York Times now reports that “short of forgiving the debt, it has no way to extricate itself from the Trump relationship before the loans come due.”
The bank has reportedly already decided to sever the relationship completely, according to insiders.
That relationship goes back almost three decades, with sources previously claiming it was worth more than $2 billion across several loans for properties such as golf courses and hotels.
Deutsche’s reputation as Trump’s lender has become cemented enough for the bank to be caught up in allegations of hush-money payments and tax fraud against the former business mogul.
In December, it was reported that several senior Deutsche personnel were being questioned by prosecutors in Manhattan about Mr Trump’s dealings.
At the time, observers said that these interviews were signs that the investigation into Trump’s financial dealings was beginning to deepen.
It was an investigation that initially focused on alleged violations of state-laws by the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. But over two years, this has expanded to a full probe of the President’s tax returns.
This probe is unlikely to reveal any new information until Mr Trump is out of office.
In the meantime, Deutsche may well be keen to shed the reputation of Trump-associate as fast as possible, after a day of violence that saw him condemned by close political allies, rejected by other big businesses, and silenced on social media.
The past 12 months for Deutsche have featured several setbacks for its reputation. In September 2020, it was singled out as one of the worst-offenders in the FinCEN files – a large revelation of data which showed it had continued to transfer billions in dirty money even after filing suspicious activity reports.
Additionally, the bank was recently found to have paid over $130 million to end criminal and civil actions in the US for bribery across three continents.
It was also handed a fine of €13.5 million in Frankfurt last October, as a penalty for late reporting related to the Danske Bank scandal. However the organisation breathed a sigh of relief on that occasion as prosecutors dropped a further proper into specific employees as part of the settlement.
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