31 August 2011
Siemens boss backs dedicated bank for manufacturing
Siemens chief Juergen Maier has called for a dedicated bank for UK manufacturers to kick start frontline investment in factories.
The UK risked falling behind international rivals without an injection of affordable investment finance, Maier told WM.
The MD of Siemens UK Industry sector said: "Ultimately we're going to need a stronger public sector bank. One, which is focussed at the SME sector particularly focused at investing in R&D and capital equipment."
Speaking exclusively to WM, Maier branded bank lending policy to manufacturing as "crazy". He said: "I can go out and borrow money to buy a house at a cheaper rate than a small engineering company can go out and finance an engineering asset. Our banking system attaches a higher risk to manufacturing assets."
The hostile lending climate meant UK firms invested less in plant than competitors in Germany and beyond, Maier said. The trend could see the UK struggle to match productivity gains from newer equipment at foreign factories, the Siemens chief added.
Maier called on the UK government to use Germany's KfW bank as a role model to address the shortfall. The state owned bank bank offers cheap finance for business start ups and SMEs.
See the full interview with Juergen Maier in our September issue.
Siemens Industry Ltd
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