Barclays makes £500 ($790) million betting on food crisis

Profiting from starvation!

Barclays has made as much as half a billion pounds in two years from speculating on food staples such as wheat and soya, prompting allegations that banks are profiting handsomely from the global food crisis.

Barclays is the UK bank with the greatest involvement in food commodity trading and is one of the three biggest global players, along with the US banking giants Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, research from the World Development Movement points out.

Last week the trading giant Glencore was attacked for describing the global food crisis and price rises as a “good” business opportunity.


  • Investors accused of using food market ‘as a playground’
  • Bank accused of risking creating a ‘speculative bubble’
  • UK food prices have ‘soared by 37.9 per cent in one year’

Barclays has been accused of profiting from world hunger by betting on food crises and helping to push prices up.

Barclays Capital, the investment arm of the bank, has prompted fresh criticism after they reportedly made more than £500million by speculating on food staples while millions around the world face starvation and crippling food prices.

The World Development Movement said Barclays is estimated to make up to £529million in 2010 and 2011 from speculating in food markets, making it the biggest UK player in the markets. 


WMD policy and campaigns officer Christine Haigh told The Independent: ‘(Barclays) behaviour risks fuelling a speculative bubble and contributing to hunger and poverty for millions of the world’s poorest people’.

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