Deutsche Bank AG said it is unable to share information on its relationship with President Donald Trump and his family, responding to a request from Democratic Party lawmakers to hand over findings on two politically charged matters.
The German bank can’t comply with the request because its required by law to maintain confidentiality of non-public customer information, Deutsche Bank’s lawyers said in a statement.
“While we seek to cooperate, we must obey the law,” two lawyers from firm Akin Gump, Steven R. Ross and Leslie B. Kiernan, said in a letter published on the bank’s website.
“Deutsche Bank, like other financial institutions, is not permitted to disclose details related to its customers,” the lawyers said in the letter. “This is true even if the individual is a government official or well-known person, and even in circumstances where the individual has made some disclosure regarding their relationship with their banking institution.”
Representative Maxine Waters of California and four other Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee asked Deutsche Bank in May to hand over findings on two issues: its banking on behalf of Trump and trades from the bank’s Moscow operation that helped move some $10 billion out of Russia. The bank pointed the lawmakers to documents made public after the bank settled probes into its Russia deals with the New York Department of Financial Services and the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.
A deadline for the bank to respond to the Democrats’ request expired on June 2. A spokesman for the lender told Bloomberg Tuesday that it would be unable to comply with the lawmakers’ request to disclose information on individual clients.
The lawmakers asked the Frankfurt-based lender for an internal report about its conduct in the Russian “mirror-trading” scandal. They also asked for any internal review of Trump’s business dealings with the bank, descriptions of which have surfaced in news reports.
As the minority party in Congress, the Democrats don’t have the power to force Deutsche Bank to make any disclosures. The same group of Democrats demanded in March that Representative Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the committee, hold a hearing to explore the bank’s conduct in the Russian mirror-trading scandal, as part of an effort to ensure that the Justice Department investigation wasn’t influenced by the lender’s relationship with Trump.