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Trump's banker raises eyebrows with unexpected retirement

There are plenty of interesting dots related to Trump and his retiring banker, whether one is inclined to try to connect them or not.
A statue is seen next to the logo of Germany's Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt
A statue is seen next to the logo of Germany's Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

When it comes to Donald Trump's scandal-plagued finances, Deutsche Bank has played a unique role. Even when other lenders started to see the New Yorker as a risky bet, Deutsche Bank has reportedly been his most generous lender in recent decades.

With this in mind, as the Republican president prepares to leave office and confront some of his debts, it raised a few eyebrows when the New York Times reported that his banker announced her unexpected retirement.

President Trump's longtime banker at Deutsche Bank, who arranged for the German lender to make hundreds of millions of dollars of loans to his company, is stepping down from the bank. Rosemary Vrablic, a managing director and senior banker in Deutsche Bank's wealth management division, recently handed in her resignation, which the bank accepted, according to a bank spokesman, Daniel Hunter.

The article that Vrablic's resignation was "abrupt," and the reasons for her departure from Deutsche Bank next week are "not clear."

It's possible, of course, that there's nothing especially controversial about these circumstances. Vrablic is 60; she's been with the bank for many years; and perhaps she made an unexpected decision to retire for reasons that have nothing to do with her scandalous client in the Oval Office.

But there are plenty of interesting dots, whether one is inclined to try to connect them or not.

As the NYT's David Enrich noted, for example, Vrablic has been "under intense scrutiny because of her role facilitating huge loans to Trump and Kushners."

The accompanying article added, "Mr. Trump's key contacts at his biggest financial backer are leaving at a perilous time for the departing president. He owes Deutsche Bank about $330 million, and the loans come due in 2023 and 2024. Mr. Trump provided a personal guarantee to get the loans, meaning that if he fails to pay them back, the bank can pursue his personal assets."

It's possible the Republican might try to negotiate a refinancing of his Deutsche Bank debts, but with his close ally exiting the institution next week -- Vrablic was even given a VIP seat at Trump's presidential inauguration -- that's likely to be quite a bit more difficult.

As the Times' reporting emphasized, Trump has been accused of providing Deutsche Bank with "financial statements that appeared to substantially overstate the value of some of his company's real estate and other assets." This, among other things, has drawn the attention of the Manhattan district attorney's office, which has interviewed Deutsche Bank officials about its lending practices, and which may yet summon bank officials to testify before a grand jury.

It's against this backdrop that Vrablic "abruptly" decided to start boxing up her office.