Deutsche Bank, the troubled German lender that loaned hundreds of millions of dollars to Donald Trump, has performed a detailed investigation into the US President’s personal accounts in a bid determine whether he had any connections with Russia, according to the Guardian.
The paper reports that the bank is particularly searching for evidence that loans it made to Mr Trump were underpinned by financial guarantees from Moscow.
The President’s closest relatives are clients of Deutsche Bank and the bank has reportedly also examined accounts held by Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, a White House adviser, and Mr Kushner’s mother.
The Guardian says that Deutsche’s review found no evidence of a link to Russia, but that the lender is now facing calls to appoint an independent, external auditor to look into its business relationship with the President.
“We know that Deutsche Bank is a major lender to President Trump, and the firm is also currently undergoing scrutiny by the Department of Justice for alleged misconduct,” Democratic congressman Bill Pascrell, a member of the House Ways and Means committee, said according to the Guardian.
“I think it’s important for the American people to know the extent of the bank’s involvement with the President, and whether there is any Russian involvement in loans made to Mr Trump.”
According to the paper, the bank said it would not be drawn on what had prompted the internal examination, who had undertaken it or what its findings had been. It said it would not comment or guide on any stories about Mr Trump’s financial affairs.
When asked by the Independent, Deutsche Bank declined to provide additional comment.
The developments come at a tumultuous time for Germany’s largest lender. In recent years it has been hit with a series of fines and allegations dating back to the financial crisis.
Earlier this year it was slapped with two major fines in the US and the UK, for alleged money-laundering crimes in Russia. Just weeks earlier the bank agreed to pay $7.2bn in the US for its illegal conduct and “irresponsible lending practices” before the financial crisis.
Deutsche posted a net loss of €1.9bn (£1.6bn) for the fourth quarter of its financial year, as legal costs outstripped gains from a rebound in bond trading.
The Guardian reports Mr Trump and his businesses have a long history with the German bank and it has been the only financial institution willing to lend Mr Trump significant sums. In the 1990s other Wall Street banks, which had previously extended him credit, turned off the tap after Mr Trump’s businesses declared bankruptcy four times, the Guardian writes.
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