Taiwan's Mega Bank denies it gave secret loan to Trump's son-in-law

Bank chairman says syndicated loan took place in 2015, before Trump decided to run for president

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Taiwan's Finance Minister Su Jain-rong comments on the deal. 

Taiwan's Finance Minister Su Jain-rong comments on the deal.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Mega Bank on Wednesday (Sept. 23) dismissed an allegation by the editor for Forbes that Trump's son-in-law obtained a secret loan from the Taiwanese bank.

Forbes editor Dan Alexander said in his new book "White House, Inc." that President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was involved in a US$50 million (NT$1.45 billion) secret loan granted by Taiwan’s Mega International Commercial Bank. The transaction was said to be related to the purchase of a warehouse in Brooklyn by Kushner and a business partner. According to the book, Kushner’s share was relatively limited at US$1 million.

The bank issued a statement on Wednesday saying that the US$50 million loan was related to Mega Bank's participation in a US$175 million syndicated loan sponsored by Wells Fargo, adding that the borrower was a "property developer" and had paid off the debt before December of 2018. The bank initially declined to offer further details about the borrower, citing customer privacy, when asked by local media whether Kushner had been involved in the deal.

Mega Bank Chairman Michael Chang (張兆順) on Thursday (Sept. 24) explained in the Legislative Yuan's Finance Committee that Kushner had not been the borrower but one of the non-principal shareholders in the company. He pointed out that Trump was elected in November 2016 and took office in January 2017, so the suggestion that the deal was politically motivated is baseless.

When approached by media for comment, Taiwanese Finance Minister Su Jain-rong (蘇建榮) said the deal took place long before Trump decided to run for president and that as such, the accusation is not fair to the parties involved.