Giant German industrial conglomerate Siemens has applied for a banking licence in an effort to reduce its dependence on troubled eurozone banks for financing.
The engineering group has applied to German regulator BaFin for the licence, which it plans to use to expand its sales finance business and to improve risk management. The move would enable the group to deposit a portion of its EUR9 billion cash pile at the Bundesbank as a safe haven.
Joe Kaeser, CFO told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung: "Three years ago I would have absolutely no concerns about where we put our liquidity, or with whom to engage in foreign exchange deals or interest hedging...After the experience of the last two years, I see real need for action in these areas."
The German group says it does not plan to emulate its US rival general Electric and move into the retail banking and deposit taking business.