Despite promising during his campaign that he was "not going to let Wall Street get away with murder", President Donald Trump's administration granted extended waivers for five banks tied to the manipulation of global interest rates. Included in that short list is Deutsche Bank, a bank that Trump owes about $130 million.
Under laws designed to protect retirement savings, financial firms whose affiliates have been convicted of violating securities statutes are effectively barred from the lucrative business of managing those savings. However, that punishment can be avoided if the firms manage to secure a special exemption from the U.S. Department of Labor, allowing them to keep their status as “qualified professional asset managers.”
The Obama administration also granted waivers to the banks in 2016, although the time frame was just one year:
Late last month, the Trump administration issued new, longer waivers for those same banks, granting Citigroup, JPMorgan, and Barclays five-year exemptions. UBS and Deutsche Bank received three-year exemptions.
Aside from Trump's campaign promise to go hard on Wall Street, his relationship with Deutsche Bank - and that of his son-in-law's family - complicates any decision his administration makes regarding the financial institution.
In the year leading up to the new waiver for Deustche Bank, Trump’s financial relationship with the firm has prompted allegations of a conflict of interest. The bank has not only sought the Labor Department waiver from the administration, it has also faced Justice Department scrutiny and five separate government-appointed independent monitors. Meanwhile, the New York Times recently reported that federal prosecutors subpoenaed Deutsche for “bank records about entities associated with the family company of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser.”