- Deutsche Bank tried to jettison a $US600 million loan it made in 2016 to VTB Group, a Russian state-owned bank, The Wall Street Journal reports.
- VTB Group is majority-owned by the Russian government, and is subject to sanctions levied by the US and Europe over Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
- The report came the same day that The New York Times reported that Deutsche turned down a loan request from Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign.
Deutsche Bank reportedly tried to jettison a $US600 million loan it made in 2016 to VTB Group, a Russian state-owned bank, amid questions over Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election that made Donald Trump president, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Deutsche sold $US300 million of the loan to Alfa Bank in December 2016, and wasn’t able to sell the rest of loan, according to The Journal. VTB Group paid the rest of loan back in full in August 2017.
VTB, which is majority-owned by the Russian government, has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The bank was, and still is, subject to 2014 sanctions levied by the US and Europe over Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
The sanctions complicated Deutsche’s ability to sell off the loan, the Journal reports. A spokesman for Deutsche Bank said in a statement: “Any assertion that our financing to VTB was intended to benefit President Trump or anyone else connected to him is false and any insinuation to this effect is fabricated.”
According to the Journal report, Deutsche sought to reduce its connections to Russian entities after the country’s government was accussed of meddling in the 2016 election.
Felix Sater, a longtime Trump business associate, told former Trump Organisation lawyer Michael Cohen in 2015 that VTB was willing to finance the construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow, per texts surfaced by The Washington Post.
The House Intelligence Committee and House Financial Services Committee are preparing to investigate Deutsche Banks activity amid broader questions over Trump’s ties to Russia.
Deutsche Bank has a long and often tumultuous history with President Trump. During the 2016 election, Deutsche Bank refused Trump an expansion on a loan to finance work on his golf course in Turnberry, Scotland, The New York Times reported on Saturday.
The bank concluded that Trump’s campaign rhetoric made him a risky borrower, and public knowledge of the loan arrangement could hurt the bank’s reputation. They also weighed the risks of the possibility that the bank would have to seize a president’s assets in the event of a loan default, the Times reported.
Deutsche Bank’s shares have fallen close to 50% over the last twelve months – spurred by two bank raids in the past year – reaching record lows.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.