BNP Paribas celebrates 150th anniversary in the UK

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Agence du CNEP à Londres vers 1869 - Archives historiques BNP Paribas

Agence du CNEP à Londres vers 1869 - Archives historiques BNP Paribas

1867-2017 : For 150 years, BNP Paribas and its forerunners have been living at the pace of economic and political history in the United Kingdom.

Chronology of BNP Paribas Group’s forerunner banks in London

1867 : The Comptoir National d’Escompte de Paris (CNEP) chooses London, the heart of the world’s commercial and banking system, to establish its first branch in Europe. It is the first French bank to cross the Channel.

Since 1890, London, having acquired the scale of an autonomous bank, is seen entrusting by the Central administration the management of all the branches of English language. In 1895, 2 other agencies are set up in Liverpool and Manchester, thus completing the British system. In 1922, it is the opening of an agency in the West-End district, for the French community residing in the City.

CNEP branch team, London, 1917 - BNP Paribas Historical Archives
CNEP branch team, London, 1917 – BNP Paribas Historical Archives

1909 : The Générale de banque, Fortis forerunner in Belgium, settles in London. During the First World War, London becomes the nervous center of the bank. It finances Belgian insitutions and committees in England, watches over all its ventures abroad, and is the banker of the “Commission for relief in Belgium”, as well as the Army financial service for payment mandate, set up in its offices.

1938 : It is the Banque Nationale pour le Commerce et l’Industrie (BNCI) turn to get a foothold in London. In 1947, this London branch became a subsidiary called British & French Bank (for Commerce and Industry) Limited.

1964 : Paribas is the last of the forerunners’ bank to move to London under the name Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas Limited. London becomes one of the major centres of the bank’s international activities, supported by Geneva and Luxembourg. In 1984, it is the creation of Paribas Capital Markets, renamed later Paribas Limited.

1966 : Following the merger of CNEP and BNCI to form BNP, the British & French Bank (for Commerce and Industry) becomes BNP Limited.

Front of the British and French Bank building, after 1966 - BNP Paribas Historical Archives
Front of the British and French Bank building, after 1966 – BNP Paribas Historical Archives

Today, London is BNP Paribas Group’s second headquarter, covering a broad array of banking and insurance activities.

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