Deutsche Bank tried to get rid of the loan it had made to the VTB group, a Russian bank

  • Deutsche Bank tried to get rid of a $ 600 million loan it made in 2016 to VTB Group, a Russian public bank, reports the Wall Street Journal.
  • The VTB group is majority owned by the Russian government and is subject to sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe following the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014.
  • The report came the same day 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 get rid of a $ 600 million loan it made in 2016 to VTB Group, a Russian state-owned bank, amid questions about Russian interference in the 2016 election that made Donald Trump president, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Deutsche sold $ 300 million of the loan to Alfa Bank in December 2016 and was unable to sell the remainder of the loan, according to The Journal. The VTB group repaid the remainder of the loan in full in August 2017.

VTB, majority owned by the Russian government, has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The bank was, and still is, subject to the 2014 sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Read more: Deutsche Bank reportedly turned down Trump loan during 2016 campaign after considering possibility of having to seize president’s assets

The sanctions complicated Deutsche’s ability to sell the loan, the Journal reports. A Deutsche Bank spokesperson said in a statement: “Any claim that our funding to VTB was intended to benefit President Trump or anyone related to him is false and any innuendo to that effect is fabricated.”

According to the Journal report, Deutsche sought to cut ties with Russian entities after the country’s government was accused of meddling in the 2016 election.

German bank

People walk past a branch of Deutsche Bank on February 9, 2016 in Berlin, Germany.

Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Felix Sater, a longtime Trump associate, told former Trump Organization lawyer Michael Cohen in 2015 that VTB was willing to fund the construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to texts released by The Washington Post.

The House Intelligence Committee and the House Financial Services Committee are preparing to investigate the activities of Deutsche Banks amid larger questions about Trump’s ties to Russia.

Deutsche Bank has a long and often tumultuous history with President Trump. In the 2016 elections, Deutsche Bank denied Trump an extension of 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 that public knowledge of the loan deal could damage the bank’s reputation. They also weighed the risks of the bank having to seize a president’s assets in the event of a default, the Times reported.

Deutsche Bank shares have fallen by almost 50% in the last twelve months – boosted by two bank raids in the past year – reaching record levels.


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