Deutsche Bank denies New York Times Trump report | News | DW | 21.05.2019
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Deutsche Bank denies New York Times Trump report

An article asserted Deutsche Bank failed to forward suspicions about transactions involving Trump to US authorities. Deutsche Bank said legal restrictions mean they cannot reveal "numerous inaccuracies" in the article.

Deutsche Bank on Monday denied a report by The New York Times that asserted anti-money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank AG in 2016 and 2017 recommended multiple transactions involving entities controlled by President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog.

The article, which cited five current and former Deutsche Bank employees, said executives at the German-based bank, which has lent billions of dollars to the Trump and Kushner companies, rejected their employees' advice and the reports were never filed with the government.

"At no time was an investigator prevented from escalating activity identified as potentially suspicious," Deutsche Bank said in a statement. "Furthermore, the suggestion that anyone was reassigned or fired in an effort to quash concerns relating to any client is categorically false."

One woman, Tammy McFadden, a former Deutsche Bank anti-money laundering specialist, had told The New York Times that she was terminated last year after raising concerns about the bank's practices. 

Read more: Deutsche Bank's 5 biggest scandals

'Numerous inaccuracies' in article

In another statement in response to US Senator Chris Van Hollen's concerns that Deutsche Bank had in 2017 told him it had procedures to insulate them from conflicts of interest with the Trump family, Deutsche Bank said their 2017 statement remained correct.

"There are numerous inaccuracies and misleading statements in The New York Times story," Deutsche Bank said. 

"Legal restrictions on the bank prevent us from refuting publicly, and in detail, the inaccuracies in The New York Times story," it added.

Following the publication of the article, Deutsche Bank shares fell 2.9% to a record closing low of €6.64 on Monday. Shares are down 36% since investors gathered for last year’s shareholder meeting. The bank holds its annual general meeting on Thursday.

Read more: Deutsche and Commerzbank: A marriage of convenience that could well happen

Trump denies the accusations

US President Donald Trump appeared to deny The New York Times article in a series of tweets on Monday, insisting that he didn't borrow from many banks because he "didn't need the money," not because they wouldn't do business with him.

"When you don't need or want money, you don't need or want banks. Banks have always been available to me, they want to make money," Trump wrote.

Deutsche Bank 'generally lax'

The New York Times article noted that real estate developers such as Trump and Kushner sometimes do large, all-cash deals, including with people outside the US, which can prompt anti-money laundering reviews.

"The red flags raised by employees do not necessarily mean the transactions were improper," the article read. "Banks sometimes opt not to file suspicious activity reports if they conclude their employees' concerns are unwarranted."

But the former employees The New York Times spoke to "said the decision not to report the Trump and Kushner transactions reflected the bank's generally lax approach to money laundering laws."

law/aw (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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