FRANKFURT, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) will examine its commodities trading operations to see whether they drive up the price of basic foods after non-profit organisation Foodwatch petitioned Chief Executive Josef Ackermann.
Ackermann agreed to a review after Thilo Bode, head of the German non-governmental food campaign group, submitted a petition with more than 10,000 signatures demanding a clampdown on speculative trading in vital foods.
“I share your sadness that so many people on our planet continue to live in poverty and must go hungry,” Ackermann said in the letter seen by Reuters.
“Deutsche Bank will therefore scrutinise the information your report contains regarding the effects of commodity speculation. Should we identify sufficient evidence that some of our bank’s activities do indeed contribute to the effects you have described, we will act accordingly,” Ackermann said.
The consumer rights organisation, which was established in 2002, targeted Ackermann because of his role as head of the Institute of International Finance, an international bank lobby group, Foodwatch said in a press release on Thursday.
Deutsche Bank is not a large player in global agricultural markets, which focus on trading food commodities such as soybeans, wheat, corn, coffee and sugar. (Reporting By Edward Taylor and Nigel Hunt; Editing by David Holmes)