BNP Paribas is today being challenged over its involvement in food speculation by Friends of the Earth Europe and Friends of the Earth France, at its annual shareholders' meeting in Paris.
Friends of the Earth Europe and 25 other environmental, social justice, human rights and development groups are urging European governments and parliamentarians to use the review of EU financial legislation (MiFID)  to curb financial speculation in food and other commodity derivatives markets.
Lack of sufficient regulation has led to increased price volatility in the markets for food commodities, contributing to the recent food price spikes that have left millions across the world facing hunger and poverty.
Markus Ferber, the MEP leading the European Parliament's work on financial markets reform has today published proposals which would go some way to putting the hunger of people before the hunger of financial institutions.
Together with the World Development Movement (WDM) and World Economy, Ecology and Development (WEED), Friends of the Earth Europe handed in a petition to the European Parliament's rapporteur on a crucial piece of legislation that could stop banks profiting from hunger, MEP Markus Ferber. More than 8000 people across Europe signed the petition, asking the Parliament to ensure the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) stops big financial players from gambling on food.
European banks and other financial institutions are investing billions into practices which fuel speculation in agricultural commodity markets. These include Deutsche Bank, Barclays, RBS, Allianz, BNP Paribas, AXA, HSBC, Generali, Allianz, Unicredit and Credit Agricole. Free speech radio's Liam Moriarty interviews Friends of the Earth Europe's Daniel Pentzlin on our latest report on the issue.
New rules proposed today by the European Commission will shed light on betting on food commodities by financial traders, but will not do enough to prevent speculation from fuelling high and volatile food prices. The warning comes from environment and development groups in a joint reaction to the new draft Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and accompanying regulation.
Members of the European Parliament voted today on the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), the first ever legislative proposal put forward by the European Commission to regulate 'Over-The-Counter' (OTC) derivatives markets. NGOs welcome the agreed text as a first step to tackle excessive speculation in agriculture commodities by providing for transparency in completely opaque trillion Euro trade fuelling food price volatility and endangering the food security of millions in developing countries.