CNEP, the only major bank present in the 5 corners of the world

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Since the 19th century, the Comptoir National d’Escompte de Paris (CNEP) has had a network abroad supporting the sales affiliates, which was the source of its pre-war success. This poster titled “CNEP, the only major bank present in the 5 corners of the world” refers to the institution’s precocious international network. A rather rare event, the institution opened its first agencies in Asia before opening branches in France. In 1860 it set up in Calcutta and Shanghai, followed by Bombay and Hong Kong in 1862. As early as 1885, CNEP established a presence in Madagascar where seven agencies and sub-agencies organised the local banking service. In 1881, it set up in Melbourne and Sydney in order to accompany French importers of Australian wool. In the United States, the bank was present in San Francisco from 1877 and two agencies opened in Chicago and New Orleans in 1893 and 1894. CNEP also set up in the emerging colonial empire: in Tunisia in 1893 and in Morocco in 1897.
This emphasis on the bank’s international character in the 1960s reflects its determination to modernise its image and appear more dynamic, whereas it tended to be perceived as timid.
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BNP Paribas Historical Archives
BNP Paribas Historical Archives
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