Trump's Fed Pick Powell Says He'd Hold Deutsche Bank Accountable

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s pick to run the Federal Reserve, responding to a key lawmaker’s concerns over the president’s ties to Deutsche Bank AG, said the agency will hold the German lender to the same standards as the rest of the industry.

Fed Governor Jerome Powell answered a letter from Senate Banking Committee member Chris Van Hollen ahead of the panel’s vote on his nomination to become chairman, telling the Maryland Democrat that he’s committed to supervising banks “in an independent manner.” Powell’s nomination was advanced by the committee on Wednesday, with Van Hollen voting in favor.

Van Hollen had written to Powell, asking how he would shield the regulator from any White House effort to interfere with oversight of Deutsche Bank, which has been a major lender to Trump’s real estate business. Powell’s response didn’t address the president’s ties, but it did highlight the central bank’s role as an independent agency “accountable to the public and Congress.”

He listed several actions the Fed has previously taken against Deutsche Bank, and said he would continue its practice of “fully complying with our legal obligations relating to requests for information by government agencies in connection with all investigations.”

In his letter to Powell last week, Van Hollen pointed to Trump’s “significant liabilities” with the Frankfurt-based bank at a time when the Fed could be weighing supervisory and enforcement actions against the company. Deutsche Bank has drawn requests from prosecutors seeking information about close associates of Trump -- including in the probe of possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.