Germany has a non-discriminatory, well developed financial services infrastructure. Although corporate financing via capital markets is on the rise, Germanys financial system remains mostly bank-based, with bank loans the predominant form of funding for firms, particularly the small and medium sized enterprises of Germanys famed Mittelstand. Germanys universal banking system allows the countrys more than 36,000 bank offices not only to take deposits and make loans to customers but also to trade in securities. There are no reports of a shortage of credit in the German economy. Credit is available at market-determined rates to both domestic and foreign investors, and a variety of credit instruments are available. The traditional German system of cross-shareholding among banks and... industry, as well as a high rate of bank borrowing relative to equity financing, allowed German banks to exert substantial influence on industry in the past.