In another stinging attack on the City, Jeremy Corbyn is set to outline plans to clampdown on asset stripping and warn the financial services sector that it will be ‘the servant of industry, not the masters of us all’.
The speech later today to be held at a manufacturing conference, the Labour leader will also attack big banks and ‘casino financial institutions’ for holding the economy ‘hostage’, as politicians have previously toadied up to them.
‘For a generation, instead of finance serving industry, politicians have served finance. We’ve seen where that ends: the productive economy, our public services and people’s lives being held hostage by a small number of too big to fail banks and casino financial institutions,’ he will say.
‘No more. The next Labour government will be the first in 40 years to stand up for the real economy. We will take decisive action to make finance the servant of industry not the masters of us all.’
The outline of the speech, distributed by Corbyn's office, also highlighted plans to increase government powers around ‘public interest tests’ to give it the power to block hostile takeovers.
Citing Kraft’s takeover of Cadbury’s as a negative past example, he pointed to GKN, which is currently being circled by Melrose.
‘Take GKN, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious engineering firms, which employs 6,000 workers across the UK and yet GKN is currently facing a hostile, allegedly debt-fuelled takeover bid by Melrose, a company with a history of opportunistic asset-stripping,’ Corbyn will say.
‘It’s an all too familiar story, like when Kraft took over Cadburys. A valuable company could be sacrificed so that a few can make a quick buck.
‘That’s why the next Labour government will broaden the scope of the ‘public interest test’, allowing government to intervene to prevent hostile takeovers which destroy our industrial base.’
The speech looks set to put the Labour leader on a collision course with the City again. In December, he warned Morgan Stanley bankers that ‘yes, I am a threat’, after one of its analysts warned a Crobyn premiership was a bigger danger to the UK than Brexit.