To the CEOs Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen as well as the major shareholders of DEUTSCHE BANK from ethecon - Foundation Ethics & Economy
On November 16th, the International ethecon Black Planet Award 2013, announced by ethecon – Foundation Ethics & Economics, was awarded as part of a public event in Berlin.
This award names and shames “persons who, between the conflicting priorities of ethics and economics, act with total disregard for ethical principles and thereby endanger the Blue Planet. The Blue Planet includes the whole animate and inanimate world. … (The award) names persons who capitalize on war, exploitation, human rights abuses, environmental destruction and social hardship in a manner that is simply staggering and makes them, intentionally or not, driving forces behind these devastating developments. It is people like this who risk turning our Blue Planet into a Black Planet.” (The International ethecon Blue Planet Project, Düsseldorf 2011, 15th updated edition, p. 13/14.)
The International ethecon Black Planet Award 2013 was presented on November 16th 2013 together with the International ethecon Blue Planet Award 2013. This award of honor distinguishes people who, between the conflicting priorities of ethics and economics, campaign for ethical principles in an outstanding manner and fight for the conservation and preservation of our Blue Planet. The Blue Planet includes the whole animate and inanimate world. ...(The award) honors individuals, who…are willing to offer civil resistance for the purpose of defending peace, justice and ecology … and to campaign for the ideals and interests of the human race, regardless of potentially harmful consequences for themselves. They are the guarantors who defend, nurture and take care of the delicate plant of ethics.” (The International ethecon Blue Planet Project, Düsseldorf 2011, 15th updated edition, p. 10/12).
As a result of a lengthy worldwide nomination and selection procedure you, Mr. Jain and Mr. Fitschen, as well as you, the major shareholders of DEUTSCHE BANK AG, have been nominated for the International ethecon Black Planet Award 2013 on September 21st of 2013, the International Day of Peace.
Our decision was based on news reports and on facts, some of which have already been known to the public for years. We also considered information collected by journalists from all over the world, publicly available documents, discoveries made by government offices and environmental organizations in various countries and last but not least material released by your corporation. Presumably we would have been able to make our decision in an even more systematic and thorough manner if all the information which has been kept secret, hushed up or even destroyed, internally or elsewhere, had been available.
Based on the information which was accessible, ethecon – Foundation Ethics & Economy justifies its decision to internationally name and shame you, Mr. Jain and Mr. Fitschen, as well as you, major shareholders of DEUTSCHE BANK AG, in the form of the International ethecon Black Planet Award 2013, as follows:
The accusations against DEUTSCHE BANK and the scandals it and its managers are embroiled in are manifold. On the one hand, this relates to the bank’s business methods and its own activities, and on the other hand it is linked to the financing of dubious and damaging methods of organisations DEUTSCHE BANK does business with.
Investigations carried out by the German media outlets Norddeutscher Rundfunk and Süddeutsche Zeitung suggest that DEUTSCHE BANK has founded more than 300 companies and trusts in several tax havens, mostly on the British Virgin Islands, through their Singapore branch. In many cases they installed their subsidiary REGULA Limited as director.
In the view of critics, the bank abetted the concealment of monetary flows and potentially enabled criminal acts. DEUTSCHE BANK was not prepared to tell us for whom they were doing this and what exactly the business purpose behind it was. With the help of offshore structures, money laundering, tax fraud and corruption money could be covered up.
In one of its brochures, DEUTSCHE BANK unashamedly offers their customers “the foundation, management and administration” of trusts, companies and foundations in various countries. For this purpose, the bank offers to cooperate closely with their clients‚ lawyers and accountants. On the website dboffshore.com, the bank advertises its offshore services. Here, the tax haven of Mauritius is described as offering “a tax-neutral environment”. According to DEUTSCHE BANK, the number of employees in their local office increased from 5 to more than 200 over the past years.
In 2012, it became official that numerous banks had routinely manipulated the reference interest rates LIBOR and EURIBOR in their favour for years, mainly from 2005 to 2009, in order to achieve trading profits. There is evidence that DEUTSCHE BANK earned 500 million Euros through this practice in 2008 alone.
The former manager of the Westdeutsche Landesbank, Ludwig Poullain, accused DEUTSCHE BANK of having abused their power in dealing with risky mortgages to strike business deals which deliberately eluded economic obligations. DEUTSCHE BANK (and other companies, such as JP Morgan Chase & Co.) earned high commissions with high-risk betting based on incorrect interest rate fore-casts. Due to these activities, several cities – including Hagen and Pforzheim, Würzburg, Neuss and Milan -, communities and European regions – including Tuscany – lost millions, which meant ruin for quite a few of the communities concerned.
It is extremely objectionable that DEUTSCHE BANK is involved in food speculation and land grabbing through their commodity and agricultural funds – making a nice profit for itself and its shareholders. Speculation with food is, after all, a business with hunger. At least it is accepted tacitly as long as the profits are satisfactory.
DEUTSCHE BANK was also criticised because of a cynical investment fund it offers, which speculates on the life expectancy of human beings. Even the Ombudsman of the Bankers Association considers this incompatible “with our moral concepts, particularly the inviolability of human dignity”.
DEUTSCHE BANK collected more than 700 million Euros from small investors for three different life insurance funds, of which db Kompass Life 3 is the most morbid one. Such funds usually buy life insurance policies so they can cash in when the policy holder dies.
DEUTSCHE BANK went one step further with Kompass Life 3: They did not actually buy real policies. Instead, they offered the investors a kind of bet on the remaining life expectancy of about 500 per-sons who are regularly contacted by a “tracking company”. The product is based on complex mathematical models, but it works according to a simple but morbid principle: the sooner the so-called reference persons of the fund die, the higher the profit for the investors.
Many shareholders also criticise the marked discrepancy between bonus payments made to employees, particularly in investment banking, and the amount of dividends paid out. In 2012, the 98,219 employees of the bank received salaries totalling 13.5 billion Euros. The official net profit decreased by 85 per cent to 665 million Euros in the same year. At the same time, the amount of total bonus payments only came down by 11 per cent – to a handsome 3.2 billion Euros.
DEUTSCHE BANK’s managers feel no qualms about making their profits at the expense of the envi-ronment, the climate, human rights and even human lives. It is the height of cynicism that at the same time, they engage in greenwashing, which means they want to give the bank an appearance of sustainability and environmental consciousness.
The truth is that the bank is one of the biggest investors when it comes to financing nuclear power plants, dams and other huge projects.
The bank also maintains business dealings with armaments companies and their suppliers – whether in terms of bonds, loans or shares. This includes companies who produce outlawed cluster bombs or even nuclear weapons as well as firms who don‘t hesitate to supply their weapons even to states which violate human rights and suppress their own population. DEUTSCHE BANK therefore makes a profit from such business dealings by armaments companies like RHEINMETALL or LOCKHEED MARTIN and Co..
As owners and managers of DEUTSCHE BANK, you bear most of the responsibility for the decisions and actions of the company. It is on account of you that human health is being ruined, the environment destroyed on a grand scale, and that many people even lose their lives. You do not only present a seri-ous danger for peace and human rights, but also for democracy, ecology and the whole of mankind. Your actions are in pursuit of personal power and personal gain. For this, you spurn ethics and are willing to accept the death of our planet and it turning into a Black Planet.
Your actions, Mr. Jain, Mr. Fitschen, major shareholders, are considered by ethecon to be “a scandalizing contribution to the ruin and destruction of our Blue Planet”. For this alarming disregard you, the major shareholders and the responsible management, will be shamed with the International ethecon Black Planet Award 2013 by ethecon – Foundation Ethics & Economy.
As mentioned already, besides awarding the International ethecon Black Planet Award 2013 to you, the managers and owners of DEUTSCHE BANK, ethecon is also awarding the International ethecon Blue Planet Award 2013. This award goes to the musician, anti-Fascist and peace activist Esther Bejarano. Unlike you, who endanger and ruin our planet in an irresponsible manner, Esther Bejarano campaigns for the preservation and rescue of our Blue Planet
and its residents in an exemplary manner.
There is a connection between the awardee Esther Bejarano and your bank’s criminal past: While DEUTSCHE BANK was demonstrably involved in financing the concentration camp of Auschwitz and was also partly responsible for the establishment and operation of Hitler‚s Nazi regime, Esther Bejarano was taken first to a labor camp and then to the concentration camp of Auschwitz at the age of 17. She only survived because she was needed as part of the girls‘ orchestra.
We ask you to follow the example of people like Esther Bejarano for your future commitments. Put an end to the exploitation and ruin of people and the environment by DEUTSCHE BANK. We appeal to you to ensure social justice, safety and human rights within the company and in its sphere of influence. Pre-serve the environment and peacekeeping. Stop chasing profit and start using your money for ethical investments and solidarity projects, as demanded by an overwhelming majority of the world’s population.
This is the appeal ethecon – Foundation Ethics & Economiy directs towards you, the responsible directors and capital owners of DEUTSCHE BANK, by awarding you the International ethecon Black Planet Award 2013.
Together with national and international movements against big business and globalisation we also demand and campaign to make DEUTSCHE BANK liable for its actions and the environmental, health, financial, societal and other damages caused by you and your company. We demand the company and its individual actors are brought to justice and penalized if appropriate.
Berlin, November 16th, 2013
Axel Köhler-Schnura Elke von der Beeck
(Chairman of the board) (Chairwoman of the board of trustees)