Showing posts with label Bank. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bank. Show all posts

February 4, 2019

Trump Sought A Loan From Deutsch Bank During the 2016 Campaign

 Deutsche Bank lent more than $100 million to the Trump Organization to finance its Doral resort in Miami. In 2016, the organization suggested expanding the Doral loans to fund work on Turnberry.CreditEvan Vucci/Associated Press

By David EnrichJesse Drucker and Ben Protess

Donald J. Trump was burning through cash.

It was early 2016, and he was lending tens of millions of dollars to his presidential campaign and had been spending large sums to expand the Trump Organization’s roster of high-end properties.

To finance his business’s growth, Mr. Trump turned to a longtime ally, Deutsche Bank, one of the few banks still willing to lend money to the man who has called himself “The King of Debt.”

Mr. Trump’s loan request, which has not been previously reported, set off a fight that reached the top of the German bank, according to three people familiar with the request. In the end, Deutsche Bank did something unexpected. It said no.

Senior officials at the bank, including its future chief executive, believed that Mr. Trump’s divisive candidacy made such a loan too risky, the people said. Among their concerns was that if Mr. Trump won the election and then defaulted, Deutsche Bank would have to choose between not collecting on the debt or seizing the assets of the president of the United States. 

Two of the people familiar with the loan request said the Trump Organization had been seeking to borrow against its Miami resort to pay for work on a golf property in Turnberry, Scotland.

A Trump Organization spokeswoman, Amanda Miller, denied that the company had needed outside funding for Turnberry.

“This story is absolutely false,” Ms. Miller said. “We bought Trump Turnberry without any financing and put tens of millions of dollars of our own money into the renovation, which began in 2014. At no time was any money needed to finance the purchase or the refurbishment of Trump Turnberry.” 
Donald J. Trump at the Turnberry resort in June 2016, when he was the presumptive Republican nominee for president. A Trump entity lent at least $45 million to the resort that year.CreditJeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Troy Gravitt, a Deutsche Bank spokesman, declined to comment.

The failed loan request is an untold chapter in Mr. Trump’s long and tortured relationship with the banking industry. It shows that he was actively engaged in running his business in the midst of the presidential campaign, and it is likely to attract scrutiny from Democrats on two House committees that are investigating his two-decade relationship with Deutsche Bank. 

In the early 1990s, Mr. Trump’s hotel and casino properties declared bankruptcy four times, leaving prominent banks, including Citicorp and Manufacturers Hanover, with painful losses. The real estate mogul was all but excommunicated from Wall Street.

Deutsche Bank, which was eager to gain a foothold in the lucrative American market and more tolerant of risk than many of its rivals, filled the void. In 1998, it lent Mr. Trump $125 million for renovations on a Wall Street skyscraper. The relationship blossomed, and over the next 17 years, Deutsche Bank lent or participated in loans to Mr. Trump and his companies totaling more than $2.5 billion.

Then, just as the first votes were being cast in the Republican presidential primaries, Mr. Trump’s lender of last resort got cold feet.

The funding of Mr. Trump’s golf empire has been something of a mystery.

In the decade before he was elected president, Mr. Trump’s company spent hundreds of millions of dollars buying or renovating about a dozen clubs and resorts around the world. Despite Mr. Trump’s self-proclaimed fondness for relying on debt, the Trump Organization has reported that it used its own money for most of the acquisitions and upgrades.

A prominent golf journalist, James Dodson, said Mr. Trump’s son Eric had told him in 2013 that the company’s golf properties were funded by Russians. Eric Trump has denied making the comment.

Mr. Trump did borrow money for some of his golf properties. In 2012, Deutsche Bank lent the Trump Organization a total of more than $100 million to finance the 72-hole Doral resort near Miami, home to the famed Blue Monster course. 

Two years later, the Trump Organization bought the Turnberry hotel and golf course for a reported $63 million. The course, which features sweeping views of the sea west of Scotland, has hosted the British Open several times.
Deutsche Bank lent more than $100 million to the Trump Organization to finance its Doral resort in Miami. In 2016, the organization suggested expanding the Doral loans to fund work on Turnberry.
Evan Vucci/Associated Press 

Deutsche Bank lent more than $100 million to the Trump Organization to finance its Doral resort in Miami. In 2016, the organization suggested expanding the Doral loans to fund work on Turnberry.CreditEvan Vucci/Associated Press

In 2014 and 2015, a Trump legal entity lent at least $96 million to the subsidiary that operated Turnberry, according to British regulatory filings. The next year, the Trump Organization would go back to Deutsche Bank for more.

The relationship between Mr. Trump and Deutsche Bank had survived some rocky moments. In 2008, amid the financial crisis, Mr. Trump stopped repaying a loan to finance the construction of a skyscraper in Chicago — and then sued the bank, accusing it of helping cause the crisis. After that lawsuit, Deutsche Bank’s investment-banking arm severed ties with Mr. Trump.

But by 2010, he was back doing business with Deutsche Bank through its private-banking unit, which catered to some of the world’s wealthiest people. That unit arranged the Doral loans, and another in 2012 tied to the Chicago skyscraper.

Mr. Trump’s go-to in the private bank was Rosemary Vrablic, a senior banker in its New York office. In 2013, she was the subject of a flattering profile in The Mortgage Observer, a real estate magazine owned by Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who was also among her clients. In 2015, she arranged the loan that financed Mr. Trump’s transformation of Washington’s Old Post Office Building into the Trump International Hotel, a few blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.

In early 2016, as Mr. Trump was lending tens of millions of dollars to his campaign, his company contacted Ms. Vrablic about getting money for Turnberry, said two of the three people familiar with the request, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The proposal was to expand Deutsche Bank’s outstanding loans backed by the Doral by well over $10 million and to use the proceeds for work on Turnberry, the people said.

Around the time that Mr. Trump was winning New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, officials in the private-banking unit informed their superiors that they were inclined to provide him with the loan, according to one of the people familiar with the internal discussions.

Senior executives in New York balked, arguing that Mr. Trump’s candidacy made such a loan unacceptably risky, the three people said. In part, they feared the bank’s reputation could be harmed if the transaction were to become public because of the polarizing statements Mr. Trump was making on the campaign trail. 

Officials in the private-banking unit protested that Deutsche Bank already had numerous outstanding loans to Mr. Trump and that there was no reason not to make another, two of the people said. The decision was appealed to Deutsche Bank’s top executives in Frankfurt.

Rep. Adam Schiff wants to look closely at Deutsche Bank because it has previously paid regulatory penalties for laundering money for Russians. 

Rep. Adam Schiff wants to look closely at Deutsche Bank because it has previously paid regulatory penalties for laundering money for Russians.CreditSarah Silbiger/The New York Times
That was the first time that some senior officials realized the extent of their bank’s dealings with Mr. Trump, the three people said.

The proposed loan was examined by an internal committee that is responsible for vetting transactions to ensure they do not pose serious risks to the bank’s reputation, the people said. That March, the committee unanimously rejected the loan. Christian Sewing — who was in charge of Deutsche Bank’s wealth-management division and would become chief executive two years later — was among those who made the final decision, the people said.

A Trump entity ended up lending at least $45 million to Turnberry that year, on top of the $96 million it had lent Turnberry in the previous two years.

Even though the Deutsche Bank loan didn’t go through, it will most likely draw the interest of congressional Democrats.

Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, has said he wants to look closely at Deutsche Bank because of its past involvement in laundering money for Russian nationals. And Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee, overseen by Representative Maxine Waters, have been asking questions about Deutsche Bank’s loans to Mr. Trump since 2017.

Mr. Schiff and Ms. Waters are planning to conduct a joint investigation of Mr. Trump’s involvement with Deutsche Bank. 

During the campaign, Mr. Trump sought to take advantage of that relationship when rivals painted him as a bad businessman who was frozen out of the mainstream financial system.

The same month that Deutsche Bank rejected the loan proposal, Mr. Trump sought to blunt those attacks by citing his warm relationships with Wall Street firms. He singled out Deutsche Bank.

“They are totally happy with me,” he told The New York Times in March 2016. “I do business with them today.”
Susanne Craig contributed reporting.

A version of this article appears in print on Feb. 3, 2019, on Page A1 of the New York edition 

April 25, 2017

Applying for a Job at Goldman Sachs? Are you Gay? They Want to Know

Wall Street isn't necessarily known for being gay-friendly. Yet Goldman Sachs is now asking prospective employees to come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender right when they apply for the job.

After the typical questions about a job applicant's gender and race, Goldman Sachs(GS, +1.34%) asks candidates to indicate their sexual orientation via a drop-down menu including the choices bisexual, gay man, gay woman, heterosexual, lesbian, other, and "prefer not to say." Following that, the application also queries: “Please indicate if you identify as Transgender."

Goldman's questions—neither of which typically pop up in polite conversation—may seem shocking at first. But it has a reason for asking.

" We ask for this data because we want to keep ourselves accountable," says Anilu Vazquez-Ubarri, Goldman's chief diversity officer and global head of talent. In other words, she says, the bank wants to make sure it is not unfairly discriminating against LGBT applicants.

Under Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rules first implemented in 1978, major employers are required to track their job applicants and employees' nationality, race, and gender (though applicants are free to withhold the information). While the data is not part of hiring decisions, it can be used in employment discrimination cases that arise. The EEOC, however, does not mandate tracking of LGBT status, though it says federal discrimination protections extend to that community—even if the law does not explicitly say so. 

But Goldman, whose benefits package covers sex reassignment surgery, decided to start measuring its own LGBT inclusivity roughly a year ago. Its method is similar to that of the commission: First, it asks candidates to self-identify. Then, it removes the data from the resume and interview process. Finally, after the hires have been made, Goldman checks if the proportion of LGBT applicants is reflected in the eventual group hired.

While the bank isn't seeking to hit a specific target at the moment, it is hoping to increase its percentage of LGBT employees, which it plans to track on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.
"It is a competitive market. If we don’t do that outreach, it is possible that we have left the best candidate on the table," says Vazquez-Ubarri. The bank also actively reaches out to LGBT groups on university campuses in a bid to bolster its diversity. “Hopefully, this will become a part of what everyone does."

Employers now have an imperative to demonstrate that their values match those of the younger generations just starting their careers and entering the workforce. The majority of Millennials and Gen-Zs now support LGBT rights, which means that big companies such as Goldman have to step in line if they want to stay an attractive workplace, said D edna Fidas, director of the workplace equality program at the Human Rights Campaign.

Indeed, 89% of Fortune 500 companies have policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, while 66% ban discrimination based on gender identity, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

So far, Goldman Sachs is the only bank queried by Fortune to have included such questions on its job application.

Its fellow banks including J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM, +1.17%), Morgan Stanley (MS, +1.29%), Citigroup (C, +1.68%), HSBC (HSBC, +1.07%), Wells Fargo (WFC, +1.77%), and Bank of America (BAC, +2.50%), have all stuck with the traditional script. None ask about sexuality, and most gave users the choices of "male," "female," or some variation of "do not wish to disclose" for gender. Wells Fargo only allows its applicants to choose either male or female, or leave the section blank.

By law, job applicants may of course choose to not answer the questions. Still, all those banks, regardless of whether they ask about it on their application forms, keep track of their employees’ sexual orientation through internal questionnaires later on.

One bank, HSBC, has begun allowing its customers to pick from a variety of gender neutral prefixes such as 'Mx,' in its account application. But the bank has not done the same for its job applicants.
For now, HSBC plans to keep its questions “strictly" about the demographic groups that require reporting under equal employment opportunity and affirmative action rules—though it would be open to making a change, says Terri Pearce, the bank's head of learning and recruiting for the U.S.

To be sure, just tracking LGBT status within a company's applicant pool isn't necessarily enough to bolster the representation of that group in-house. Plus, some job hunters' resumes contain hidden signs that can reveal their gender, race or even sexual identity even if they never explicitly disclosed them. That could put some applicants at a disadvantage in the hiring process, as studies have shown that resumes with a white, male-sounding name tend to do better than the same resume headed by a black, hispanic, female, or Asian-sounding name.

"There is this unconscious bias happening," says Clair Farley, director of economic development at San Francisco's LGBT Center. Farley advises LGBT job seekers not to come out until after a job offer has been made. Then, if the offer is rescinded, the litigation process is much simpler, she says.”Where women and LGBT are first to be hired, they are also first to be fired,” Farley says.

June 10, 2015

A Criminal bank “too big to Jail" Now Lays off 250,000 Workers


With HSBC's announcement that it will lay off 25,000 workers, sell its Brazilian and Turkish businesses, and separate its retail operations from its investment banking in the United Kingdom, you could be forgiven for thinking that the financial sector is in some kind of trouble again, or that regulators have forced the industry to cede some of its stake in the global economy. You'd be wrong.
At least in this country, finance is back and feeling better than ever, as Neil Irwin wrote in the New York Times last month:
Seven years after a crisis that shook Wall Street to its core, the financial sector’s economic imprint has largely recovered. The number of people working in the securities business nationally has returned to 2007 levels, as has the gap between the compensation of Wall Street workers and that of everyone else. The financial sector as a whole is reporting profits that are as large a share of the overall economy as in the early 2000s and more than double their average level over the 70 years ended in 1999.
National and investment banks, though, are the ones that have enjoyed this success, not the behemoth international firms such as HSBC that have simply proven too cumbersome to manage, the Economist explained earlier this year. The costs of global scale outweigh the benefits, it turns out:
The panic about global banks reflects their weak recent results: in aggregate the five firms mentioned above reported a return on equity of just 6% last year...
There is a growing fear that the costs of global reach — in terms of regulation and complexity — exceed the potential benefits.
It all seemed far rosier 20 years ago. Back then banks saw that globalisation would lead to an explosion in trade and capital flows. A handful of firms sought to capture that growth. ...
These giant firms proved hard to manage. Their subsidiaries struggled to build common IT systems, let alone establish a common culture. Synergies have been elusive and global banks’ cost-to-income ratios, bloated by the costs of being in lots of countries, have rarely been better than those of local banks. As a result these firms have all too often been tempted to make a fast buck.
HSBC, apparently, has not been able to resist that temptation. In case you've forgotten, former Attorney General Eric Holder was explaining why the Justice Department hadn't prosecuted HSBC for its alleged involvement with Mexican drug cartels when he famously said that some banks have become "too big to jail."
If the decision not to prosecute HSBC resulted from its importance to the global financial financial system, that choice looks questionable in retrospect. Maybe a criminal investigation by Holder's staff and the possible loss of HSBC's license to bank in this country would have been the straw that broke the camel's back, or maybe not. Its clear the firm has serious problems, apart from the actions of regulators here.
HSBC has run afoul of regulators around the world. "Explaining why the bank had failed to hit its previous return on equity target — set when Mr Gulliver took over in 2011 — the chief executive said the performance was undermined by $11.1bn of legal, regulatory and other charges, as well as rising compliance costs and higher capital requirements. HSBC has been hit by fines and compensation for a number of legal scrapes, including rigging foreign exchange markets, breaching US sanctions and money laundering rules, and mis-selling payment protection insurance in the UK." The Financial Times.
"'Cutting 25000 jobs is inevitable consequence of loss of our core business of money-laundering, tax avoidance and Libor manipulation' - HSBC" -- @davidschneider

Max Ehrenfreund is a blogger on the Financial desk and writes for Know More and Wonkblog.

November 13, 2012

CSI Gary Dourdan Files Bankruptcy } One Could Guess Why

*Former “CSI” star Gary Dourdan has given up trying to fight the banks.
The actor filed for bankruptcy on August 30th, reports TMZ. According to the docs, has a little over $1.8 million in assets, but owes his creditors $1.73 million.
A hefty portion of that debt, $1,689,704, is owed to various banks, including Union Bank, which apparently holds the mortgage on his home that may be in default.
His assets include $200 cash, $3,000 in a bank account, $4,000 in furniture, $200 worth of books, $1,500 in clothes, $500 in watches and a 2006 Dodge Charger worth $7,000, reports TMZ.

Dourdan says his disposable income is only $321 a month, claiming his bills ($14,562 a month) eat up just about all of the $14,883 he pulls in on average.
The actor is looking up, though. He says he “anticipates major acting roles” in the future, which can help pay off his debt. 

October 12, 2012

TD Bank DATA Breach 267,000 Customers


TD Bank misplaced computer back-up tapes containing personal information for 267,000 customers, including 73,000 in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts attorney general’s office said Friday.
The bank told customers that two tapes disappeared in transit while being shipped to one of its location in March. The company has not been able to find the tapes. The tapes were unencrypted and contained extensive customer information, including Social Security numbers and bank account numbers, the bank told the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.
TD Bank, one of the largest regional banks in the United States, had previously refused to say how many customers may have been affected by the error.
TD Bank spokeswoman Rebecca Acevedo confirmed that the missing tapes included information about 73,000 customers in Massachusetts.
“We want to reassure people that there is no evidence that any of this data is being misused and that we continue to monitor customer accounts closely,” she said in a statement Friday.
Acevedo added that the bank is notifying customers. She said the bank waited more than six months to tell customers while it fully investigated the situation.
“This was an isolated incident,” she said. “We understand this is a difficult situation for our customers and apologize for the inconvenience.”

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