News 31.01.2012

No decision about speculative trading

More than 60,000 people added their names to petitions and emails calling on Deutsche Bank to stop speculating in foodstuffs. However, Josef Ackermann is playing for time: contrary to its previous announcement, Deutsche Bank has made no decision on food speculation by the end of January. “We are just beginning with the promised examination of our business practices,” said Ackermann.

In an email response to an enquiry from foodwatch, a Deutsche Bank sustainability officer explained that the bank has now decided “to prepare a comprehensive study on the issue of trading in agricultural commodities and hunger.”  This work should be carried out “in the coming months.” No target date was specified this time for the bank’s decision. Originally, Deutsche Bank had said it would make a decision about a possible withdrawal from food speculation by the end of January.

“Thorough examination” without reading the report?

Even the “thorough examination” of the situation personally promised by Ackermann leaves much to be desired. In mid-December 2011 foodwatch director Thilo Bode had a discussion with Deutsche Bank representatives in London. One of these representatives, a senior commodities trader, admitted plainly and simply that he had not even read the foodwatch report. One day after the foodwatch report “The Hunger-Makers” was published, foodwatch received a personal letter from Josef Ackermann, in which the CEO promised that Deutsche Bank would “thoroughly examine” the report and “make every effort to react as quickly as possible with a detailed response.” “No business activity is worth putting Deutsche Bank’s good reputation at risk,” wrote the Deutsche Bank CEO to foodwatch.

foodwatch demands a withdrawal from food gambling activities

More than 57,000 people have already taken part in our e-mail campaign calling on Deutsche Bank to withdraw from food speculation, and 4,000 signatures have been sent to Deutsche Bank by post over the last several days – an impressive signal. But Deutsche Bank is ignoring the protests and continuing to speculate in foodstuffs while, in the world’s poorest countries, these practices are pushing more and more people into hunger.

foodwatch is calling on Deutsche Bank to stop these immoral business practices immediately. The facts are on the table, and the evidence for the negative impact of these practices is overwhelming. Instead of asking others to deliver definitive proof that these practices lead to price increases and hunger, Deutsche Bank must either immediately stop its speculation in foodstuffs or provide evidence demonstrating that these activities are harmless.