A small bank with ties to Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Michael Cohen, and Trump's business is suddenly under increased scrutiny — and the bank feels 'abused'

Win McNamee/Getty ImagesJared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.
  • Signature Bank became a go-to lender for the Trump and Kushner families.
  • It’s now under increased scrutiny.
  • The bank’s chairman told The New York Times that executives felt “abused” by inquiries into past lending.

A small New York-based bank became a go-to lender for the Trump family and some closely connected to it,The New York Times reported Monday.

Now the bank finds itself under increased scrutiny for some of that business, and its chairman told The Times it felt “abused.”

According to The Times, over the past decade, Signature Bank provided financial backing to:

  • President Donald Trump’s Florida golf course.
  • Michael Cohen, Trump’s former longtime lawyer.
  • Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser.
  • Kushner’s father, Charles Kushner.

The bank also provided Trump and the Trump Organisation with checking accounts while Ivanka Trump, Trump’s daughter who’s now a White House assistant to him, sat on its board of directors, the report says.

Earlier this year, the New York Department of Financial Services requested information from Signature Bank about its business with the Kushner family, looking into whether the younger Kushner’s White House job could compromise the bank’s ability to collect its loans, The Times reported, citing people familiar with the requests.

Sources told The Times the review was then broadened to include whether the bank lent Kushner Companies money knowing that the business planned to engage in abusive behaviour with low-rent tenants. The investigation could include other banks.

“We recognise we are not perfect,” Signature Bank’s chairman, Scott Shay, said in a statement to The Times. “However, any allegation that we knowingly or somehow actively abet tenant harassment is frankly a slander against Signature Bank and an unfair impugning of the reputations of many hardworking colleagues who strive to be a positive force for not only our shareholders and depositors but our community as well.”

A Kushner Companies representative told The Times that its business with Signature Bank had been “entirely appropriate,” adding that the investigations involving the company appeared to be politically motivated.

A Trump Organisation spokeswoman, Amanda Miller, told The Times that the president’s namesake business’ dealings with Signature Bank “were few and far between and limited in scope.”

The bank, meanwhile, told The Times it was being unfairly punished for lending to the Trumps and the Kushners before the 2016 presidential election.

“We feel abused,” Shay said.

Read the full story at The New York Times »

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