U.S. President Donald Trump, a billionaire real-estate developer, has been dogged for months by suspicion that he may have financial ties to Russia that would present a conflict of interest.
Deutsche Bank, which has lent as much as $2.5 billion to Mr. Trump's businesses over a two-decade relationship, apparently took the suspicions seriously enough to review his account for suspect connections to Russia, according to The Guardian.
The review was conducted after Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign made him a politically exposed person. Under banking rules, politically exposed people are subject to additional levels of scrutiny.
Deutsche Bank declined to tell The Guardian whether its review found any ties between Mr. Trump’s loans and Russia. But two sources, who declined to be named, told The Guardian that Deutsche found no evidence that his loans were underwritten by any Russian money or banks.
According to The Guardian, Deutsche also examined the accounts of Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka, who now works in the White House, and her husband Jared Kushner, a close adviser to the president.
Though Deutsche’s review turned up no financial links to Russia, pressure is growing for an independent audit of Mr. Trump’s account with the bank. Financial filings have shown the president still has more than $350 million in outstanding loans with Germany's largest bank.
“We know that Deutsche Bank is a major lender to President Trump, and the firm is also currently undergoing scrutiny by the Department of Justice for alleged misconduct,” Bill Pascrell, a Democratic congressman who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement.
Deutsche Bank recently reached a $630 million settlement with U.S. and British regulators for alleged money laundering in Russia and still faces a criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department.
“I think it’s important for the American people to know the extent of the bank’s involvement with the president, and whether there is any Russian involvement in loans made to Mr Trump,” Mr. Pascrell said.