Deutsche Bank cuts ties with president
Deutsche Bank yesterday became the latest large company to cut ties with Donald Trump, reportedly announcing it would no longer do business with the disgraced US president.
The move by the German bank, reported by the New York Times, followed the storming of the Capitol building by a mob of the US president’s supporters, and joins the avalanche of corporations disassociating themselves from him.
Deutsche Bank has been Trump’s most important lender, for more than 20 years. The Trump Organization, fronted by the president’s two older sons, owes the bank about $340m in outstanding loans. It was the only bank willing to lend money to Trump after his bankruptcies in the 1990s.
The relationship survived various scandals. In 2008 Trump sued the bank’s real-estate division after he defaulted on a $40m repayment, used to fund the building of the Trump International Hotel, and Tower, in Chicago. He accused Deutsche of helping to cause the financial crisis and demanded $3bn in compensation. Deutsche’s private wealth division stepped in and lent him more.
Deutsche has resisted efforts by Democrats in the House and Senate to explain its relationship with Trump – and to clarify if Russian state banks or entities underwrote some of his debts.
But the riot in Washington last week and the threat of a second impeachment trial seem to have persuaded Deutsche’s managers to end association with Trump. It is unclear if this goes for others in his family. His daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner are Deutsche clients.
Several leading firms including
Coca-Cola, AT&T, and the Marriott hotel chain, are to suspend political donations to Trump. They say they will not give money to Republican representatives who promoted Trump’s claim that the presidential election in November was rigged and that he had “won” it. In the past they have donated also to Democratic party candidates.
Several of the biggest banks in the US, including JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley, will also suspend donations from their political action committees.
Deutsche had been looking to end its links with Trump since November, having grown tired of negative publicity, reported Reuters. “We are proud of our constitution and stand by those who seek to uphold it to ensure the will of the people is upheld and a peaceful transition of power takes place,” Christiana Riley, head of Deutsche’s US operations, wrote last week.
Signature Bank said it was closing Trump’s two personal accounts. It had financed his Florida golf course, and Ivanka Trump sat on its board.
The US Professional Golfers’ Association said it would not hold its championship in May 2022 at Trump’s New Jersey golf club. “Conducting the PGA championship [there] would be detrimental to the brand.”