Deutsche Bank finances Gaddafi’s cluster bombs
Deadly business of the German banks with cluster munitions continues!
(Berlin, 19.05.2011) In mid- April this year, loyal Gaddafi government troops began firing cluster bombs in residential areas in the city of Misrata, killing and injuring many people in the process. This MAT-120 type cluster munition was produced in 2007 by the Spanish company Instalaza SA. Research by Profundo on behalf of urgewald and the NGO-alliance FACING FINANCE now reveal that Deutsche Bank was the most important financier of this company at the time of manufacture.
Deutsche Bank has recently emphasized again and again that it does not want anything to do with cluster munitions. “With its loans to Instalanza, Deutsche Bank supported the production of cluster munitions and is therefore at least morally complicit. Even in 2007, the devastating effects of cluster bombs was already widely known”, according to Barbara Happe from urgewald.
“Furthermore, Instalanza is not an isolated case”, explained Happe. “New research findings show that the Deutsche Bank Group continues to be the leader among German banks in business with manufacturers of cluster munitions. It holds shares in many leading cluster munitions manufacturers and supports them to this day through lending and issuing bonds. Deutsche Bank therefore contradicts its own lies, of wanting to put an end to such transactions.
The Deutsche Bank Group currently has business relations with at least four manufacturers of cluster munitions to the tune of approximately $750 million. It is followed by the Allianz Group with commitments amounting to $581 million. In addition, the UniCredit Group/Hypo Vereinsbank is still involved to the tune of $155.9 million through its subsidiary Pioneer Investments. Solely as a commercial bank, it has even increased its investments in cluster munition manufacturers again in the last few months. Overall, the business relations of the three financial service providers total almost 1.5 billion US dollars.
Particularly noteworthy is the extensive business relationship between Deutsche Bank and the US cluster bomb manufacturer TEXTRON. In March, for example, they were granted a loan of 142.9 million US dollars. “Textron had just accepted a contract to supply 512 CBU-105 (Sensor Fuzed Weapon) cluster bombs worth 275 million US dollars to India, which is known to be in continuous conflict with Pakistan over the Kashmir region”, emphasized Thomas Küchenmeister from FACING FINANCE.
“The research findings show that commitments from the financial industry in this area are not sufficient in stopping investment in such weapons which violate international law. In fact, numerous financial service providers and banks in Germany (such as Allianz GI Europe, DEKA, DWS Investment GmbH) have started to distance themselves from this illicit business. Unfortunately, however, it is by no means widespread across the financial industry”, stressed Küchenmeister.
In the interest of potential victims, FACING FINANCE and urgewald therefore demand that any investment in such weapons is immediately and explicitly prohibited by law. Countries such as Belgium and Luxembourg already have appropriate legislation to ban these deadly investments. “In Germany, the federal government should also adapt § 18a of the War Weapons Control Act (Kriegswaffenkontrollgesetz) accordingly”, says Küchenmeister.
FACING FINANCE and urgewald will confront Deutsche Bank with the current research findings at the general shareholder meeting next week. They will be accompanied by CMC spokesperson Mr Branislav Kapetanovic, who, as a mine clearance officer in Serbia, became a victim of these damaging weapons and has since then committed himself in the campaign for an absolute ban on cluster bombs.
Facing Finance is a coalition of: Solidaritätsdienst International (SODI) e.V., urgewald e.V., EarthLink e.V., Netwerk Vlaanderen, CentrumCSR.PL und JA! Justicia Ambiental aus Mosambik.
Facing Finance is a member organisation of the Cluster Munition Coalition.
For enquiries and interview requests (also with Mr Kapetanovic next week), please contact us at:
Thomas Küchenmeister, Co-ordinator FACING FINANCE, 0175-4964082
Dr. Barbara Happe, urgewald e.V., 0172-6814474.