AGM 2019: Deutsche Bank CEO “we have cleaned up the Deutsche Bank”.

On the 23rd May 2019 Banktrack, Urgewald and Facing Finance, partners in the Fossil Banks-No Thanks campaign, attended the Deutsche Bank AGM under the slogan : “No War- No Warming” To protest Deutsche Bank’s financing of oil and gas, as well as the provision of finance to arms companies exporting to controversial countries (as shown in the Dirty profits 7 report).

According to research by our three organisations, Deutsche Bank has €2.6 bn invested in the top global arms companies and has provided finance of €1.8 bn. At the same time, in the last three years alone, the bank has poured over €47bn into the fossil fuel sector.

Deutsche Bank still holds shares and bonds (€420 mill) in Raytheon – a company whose weapons have been directly implicated in the death of civilians in Yemen. Additionally, Deutsche Bank provided about €730 million in finance to Leonardo, BAE Systems and Airbus which are all part of the joint venture MBDA, a company that has exported over a thousand Brimstone and Storm Shadow missiles to Saudi Arabia. Deutsche Bank provided loans to BAE Systems as recently as 2018. To drive home the message of the impact of financing arms companies, Ali Jameel from the NGO Mwatana for Human Rights in Yemen, attended the AGM to explain that “Weapons from the US and Europe have contributed to some of the war’s worst horrors, killing civilians, hitting homes, and helping destroy my country. The Saudi and UAE-led coalition have carried out countless unlawful attacks, many likely war crimes, and those exporting arms risk complicity,” said Jameel, appealing to the Deutsche Bank to stop funding arms companies complicit in the destruction.

In response to this the bank said that they have a new defense policy as of March 2019, and they have not approved new credits since this time. This policy however only refers to controversial weapons and does not cover controversial arms exports. Their policy also allows for finance provision to diversified companies such as Boeing or Airbus, where it is clear that the money is not used for the more controversial side of their business, i.e. weapons.

In relation to the Deutsche Bank’s action on climate change the bank made the following statement (in German):

They noted that “In future, we aim to finance fewer projects with fossil-fuel energy suppliers and we’re working on targets to support that.” So, nothing concrete and no complete withdrawal from fossil fuel companies.

It seems on both fronts- finance to arms and oil and gas companies, there is definitely more cleaning for the Deutsche Bank to do!

The protest formed part of the AGM campaign by BankTrack “Fossil Banks-No thanks!”