BERLIN Jan 19 Deutsche Bank said on
Saturday it would keep dealing in financial derivatives that
prominent non-profit groups Oxfam and Foodwatch blame for
pushing up international food prices and promoting famine in
Deutsche Bank Co-Chief Executive Juergen Fitschen told a
food conference that Germany's biggest lender had found little
empirical evidence that financial instruments lead to increases
or greater volatility in food prices.
"At the same time, agricultural futures markets bring
numerous advantages to farmers and the food industry," he said.
"Deutsche Bank has therefore decided in the interest of its
clients that it will continue to offer financial instruments
linked to agricultural products," Fitschen told the Global Forum
for Food and Agriculture.
The decision to carry on with the products chimes with the
view of Europe's biggest insurer, Allianz, which
earlier this year said derivatives were being unfairly blamed
for price rises. It said price increases were due more to real
economic factors like rising food demand in emerging markets and
subsidies paid for the production of bio-fuels.
Global charity Oxfam has also identified real economy
factors but says there are serious questions about the impact of
big institutional investors that have been involved in food
The founder of consumer advocacy group Foodwatch on Saturday
said Deutsche Bank's decision to maintain its derivatives
activity was highly irresponsible.
"There are sufficient scientific findings and practical
evidence that the financial products Deutsche Bank is selling
lead to speculative price bubbles on the futures market for
agricultural raw materials and therefore can cause famines,"
Thilo Bode told Reuters.
Deutsche Bank had yet to prove that its products were
harmless, he said.
(Writing by Jonathan Gould; Editing by Susan Fenton)