Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 September 2020
In the 1970s, in the aftermath of the oil price shock and with both major political parties demanding an increase in industrial investment, industrial finance, a question that had first emerged politically in the Great Depression, became once more central to UK policy-making. Finance for Industry (FFI) was established in 1973, was 15 per cent owned by the Bank, with the rest of the capital held by large banks. It was rebranded as Investors in Industry (3i); the Bank in the 1980s wanted to sell off its holding, but only managed to do that in 1994–1995. The Bank also played a central role in a number of industrial and managerial restructurings, including the Channel Tunnel. In the recession of the 1990s, the Bank’s engagement in industrial reform was revived as the ‘London approach’, but then was discarded quite rapidly as the British economy was becoming more complex, more dynamic, and more financialized.