Regulator seeks information about Kushner's ties to 3 banks

New York's banking regulator has asked Deutsche Bank and two other small lenders about their financial relationships ...

Posted: Mar 1, 2018 8:46 AM
Updated: Mar 1, 2018 8:46 AM

New York's banking regulator has asked Deutsche Bank and two other small lenders about their financial relationships with Jared Kushner, his family members and the family's real estate business, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The Department of Financial Services, the New York regulator, sent a letter last week to Deutsche Bank, Signature Bank and New York Community Bank seeking information about financial arrangements, such as loans and lines of credit, with the Kushner Companies and the family members, the source said.

The regulator, which oversees the safety of New York banks, has asked whether there are any personal guarantees by Jared Kushner on the financing arrangements, to understand the banks' risk if there is a default and the Kushners are unable to pay. The letter is also seeking information about whether any collateral was provided to secure the loans, this source added.

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The request by Maria Vullo, the superintendent of the Department of Financial Services, follows an updated financial disclosure form by Kushner revealing new debt and uncertainty over the future of 666 Fifth Avenue, the heavily indebted Manhattan office tower. Earlier this month Vornado, the co-investor on the property, indicated plans to sell its stake.

With questions about the financing of Kushner Companies' investments and Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation looming, the regulator is focusing on the safety of the small banks, which could be affected if the Kushners or their business has trouble paying their debts, the person familiar with the matter said.

The Department of Financial Services is asking for copies of emails and other communications between the Kushners and the lenders concerning any applications for loans or financing that has been sought, denied or approved. In the letter, the regulator also asked if the banks have conducted any internal reviews of the Kushners and their company, the source said.

"We have not received a copy of any letter from the New York State Department of Financial Services," said Christine Taylor, a spokeswoman for the Kushner Companies. "Our company is a multi-billion enterprise that is extremely financially strong. Prior to our CEO voluntarily resigning to serve our country, we never had any type of inquiries. These type of inquiries appear to be harassment solely for political reasons."

Signature Bank said in a statement that by law it cannot disclose regulatory or legal inquiries. Deutsche Bank declined to comment to CNN. New York Community Bank could not be immediately reached for comment.

Bloomberg first reported the existence of the letter.

Before joining the administration, Kushner was working to divest his interests in the family company, founded by his father.

In an updated disclosure form filed by his wife, Ivanka Trump, Kushner indicated his liabilities increased with the two community banks. New York Community Bank extended an unsecured line of credit -- jointly held by Kushner and his father, Charles Kushner -- ranging from $5 million to $25 million. In July, the financing was between $1 million and $5 million.

Signature Bank has also extended an unsecured line of credit jointly held by Jared and Charles Kushner, ranging from $5 million to $25 million, an increase from the last disclosed financing ranging from $1 million to $5 million.

Financing from Deutsche Bank was unchanged, ranging from $5 million to $25 million, according to the recent disclosure report. It isn't known why Deutsche Bank was also selected, but the bank is a big lender to Kushner Companies and the Trump Organization.

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