Financialization is a process often viewed askance, not least on the left of British politics. Yet in the 1970s elements of the left wing of the Labour Party developed the idea that financialization, in the form of growing middle- and working-class contributions to life insurance and occupational pensions, also offered an opportunity. With deindustrialization setting in, the Labour Left argued for the nationalization of banks and insurance companies, and the channelling of the funds flowing through insurance schemes and pension funds, into a new drive to boost manufacturing investment. The article examines the rise of these proposals and the reasons for their rejection using documents from the Labour Party archives. As such it makes contributions to the debates on deindustrialization in Britain and on the emergence of financialization.