Donald Trump is currently in negotiations with Deutsche Bank to remove personal guarantees from $300 million worth of real estate loans, in an attempt to mitigate potential conflicts of interest.
It wasn’t clear under what terms the loans could be restructured, or whether the talks are near a conclusion. The U.S. Attorney General’s Office is currently investigating Deutsche Bank over stock trades for Russian customers, and Trump’s personal financial ties to the bank could created conflicts of interest once he assumes the presidency.
“When you have political appointees making decisions about banks that the president owes a lot of money to, it looks terrible,” Richard Painter, a law professor at the University of Minnesota and former chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, told Bloomberg. “The U.S. government is dealing with regulatory and criminal issues with the big banks all the time, and if he owes them a lot of money, there might be an incentive to favor less regulation and less enforcement for the banks.”
The $300 million Trump owes to Deutsche includes a $170 million loan on his new Washington, D.C. hotel, two loans on the Trump National Doral Miami resort and a loan on the Trump Tower in Chicago. All four loans were issued by Deutsche Bank’s private banking arm. According to Bloomberg, the loans carry a low interest of 2 percent over Libor and have no use restrictions, but in return he personally guaranteed them.