This Is Donald Trump’s Go-To Lender

March 21, 2016, 11:53 AM UTC
Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally In Dallas
Photograph by Tom Pennington via Getty Images

It may be the perfect match of lender and borrower.

The bank that Donald J. Trump turns to more often than not when it comes to financing his real estate dreams is also the bank with some of the biggest reputational problems in the world.

Deutsche Bank AG (DB), Germany’s largest bank, has led or participated in loans of at least $2.5 billion to companies affiliated with the Republican front-runner and extended loan commitments of at least another $1 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. And that is despite the bank’s most important decision refusing to do business with him since they fell out in 2008.

One of the most conspicuous features of Trump’s campaign to date is the way that the securities and investment industry, traditionally a big backer of Republican candidates, has steered away from Trump. The WSJ cites calculations by the Center for Responsive Politics that Trump has received less than $18,000 from Wall Street to date. By contrast, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has received roughly $19 million, it said.

The corporate lending arm of Deutsche itself has been shunning him for years since the two sued each other over $334 million loan related to build the 92-story Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago (a deal that netted Deutsche $12.5 million in fees, according to the WSJ).

Deutsche had cited Trump’s own capriciousness in its lawsuit, quoting his own words, as penned in his 2007 book, “Think Big And Kick Ass In Business And Life.”

“I figured it was the bank’s problem, not mine,” Trump wrote, according to the lawsuit. “What the hell did I care? I actually told one bank, ‘I told you you shouldn’t have loaned me that money. I told you that goddamn deal was no good.’”

The case was settled out of court in 2009. After that, Deutsche’s private bank, which caters to the ultra-rich, took up the baton of dealing with Trump, extending the loan by five years, according to the WSJ.


Deutsche has courted controversy for years in the U.S., coming under constant pressure from regulators to raise its capital levels and improve its internal risk management processes. The bank has racked up lawsuits related to everything from manipulating benchmark interest rates to mis-selling U.S. mortgages and violating U.S. sanction on Iran and other countries.

Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen, its co-CEOs, resigned last year as cumulative scandals and regulatory issues came home to roost, leading the bank to a record loss of 7 billion euros ($7.8 billion) and forcing it into a major restructuring. John Cryan, the new CEO, sent the bank’s shares to their lowest in over 20 years last week when he warned that the bank may lose money again this year.

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