GERMANY: Toyota bank wants help for auto lessors
The head of Toyota's German finance unit has called for the government to extend its bank rescue package to include those that lease vehicles.
"The bailout hardly helps the auto industry," said Peter Pollhammer, deputy head of the German association for consumer lending that represents carmakers' banking arms, according to Reuters.
Consumer lenders financed loans for 1.9m new and used motor vehicle sales in Germany last year.
While some automakers' captive banking operations are considering applying for state guarantees when raising funds, their leasing operations may be at a disadvantage on refinancing costs because they are not eligible to issue debt backed by the government, the news agency said.
Pollhammer reportedly warned of "long-term damage to the auto industry and the German economy" should the Berlin-based national government not expand its near EUR500bn (US$625bn) bailout package.
"The problems of some automakers cannot be solved with state guarantees for captive banks," he said.
Reuters said Volkswagen and BMW have said they are considering whether their banking units should make use of the guarantees while others, such as Toyota's Pollhammer and Klaus Bentz from Fiat's German bank, have so far ruled this out.
The concern remains that the rescue funds could distort competition since captive banks have to compete just like their private rivals for customer deposits and capital from investors, the news agency said.
"Some (captive) banks are already thinking about job cuts," Toyota's Pollhammer told Reuters.