Foreword to: The Case For A British Investment Bank
In December 2011 I was commissioned by to examine the case for a British Investment Bank. I was pleased to accept because after working for many years on infrastructure investment and business financing I believe that there are significant and long-standing problems in the UK. These need to be addressed given the importance of fit-for-purpose infrastructure and a successful, growing Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) sector to the economy. When I embarked on my task I said that my guiding principle was to ‘create effective solutions not grand institutions’. My review has convinced me of the benefits of having an institution focused on addressing infrastructure investment and SME financing. I also believe that the long-standing problems in infrastructure investment and business finance have been exacerbated by the financial crisis, the return of recession and changes to regulatory rules in the banking and insurance sectors, and that these have made the case for some form of British Investment Bank even stronger. I hope that this report will help provide a route map to the creation of a growing economy in which business enterprise has the wherewithal to flourish. The conclusions I have come to are my own. They are not those of the Labour Party. However, I hope that they will be considered carefully by the Party because there are options, based on international experience, for tackling some of the significant and long-standing problems in the UK which my report identifies.