In an insightful testimony, retired Deutsche Bank executive Nicholas Haigh shed light on the terms of a $125 million loan negotiated by former President Donald Trump for his Trump National Doral golf club.
Haigh revealed that as a condition of the loan, Trump agreed to maintain a minimum net worth of $2.5 billion, excluding any value related to his brand.
The loan memorandum prepared by Deutsche Bank included this covenant, aiming to safeguard the bank’s interests in the event of property failure or a broader market decline.
According to the New York attorney general, Trump’s actual net worth at the time of the loan agreement was $1.5 billion, a figure that would have triggered a default based on the agreed-upon conditions.
Haigh testified that he played a role in setting the $2.5 billion figure, believing it would provide full protection to the bank under adverse market conditions.
The calculation of Trump’s net worth involved assessing what Haigh referred to as Trump’s four “trophy properties” in Manhattan: Trump Tower, 40 Wall Street, Trump Park Avenue, and Niketown (a ground lease for a property adjoining Trump Tower).
Notably, since these properties were not collateral for the loan, Deutsche Bank did not commission independent appraisals. Instead, they relied on a modified version of Trump’s own provided numbers.
Haigh clarified that the bank typically commissions appraisals only for assets used as collateral.
In 2012, Deutsche Bank adjusted its assessment when it learned of a separate appraisal for Trump Tower, indicating a lower value than what Trump had provided.
This revelation prompted the bank to revise the value of Trump Tower from $1.2 billion to $992 million.
The ongoing legal proceedings highlight the scrutiny surrounding financial transactions involving Donald Trump and Deutsche Bank.
The testimony underscores the meticulous conditions set for the loan and raises questions about Trump’s compliance with the agreed-upon net worth requirement.