The bylaws of the Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP), as there were established upon its creation, are published in the Bulletin des Annonces Légales et Obligatoires (French Gazette). On 4 May 1966, the Minister of Finance announces in a press release “the merger of the Banque Nationale pour le Commerce et l’Industrie (BNCI) and the Comptoir National d’Escompte de Paris (CNEP).”
The merger occurred in a context of bank concentration initiated by Michel Debré, Minister of Finance. The objective? “Strengthen the structure of the major banks to develop their ability to act in the area of domestic and international credit.” According to Michel Debré, the scope and objectives of this merger are summarised in the choice of the name, “Banque Nationale de Paris.” The term bank is more modern than “Comptoir,” “Escompte” and “Commerce et Industrie,” too dated or too specialised. The term national marks its scope and “Paris” refers to the prestige of the capital. Pierre Ledoux and Henri Bizot, respectively the former chairman of CNEP and former managing director of BNCI, set out to create a new bank and not the sum of 2 banks. The new institution became the leading French bank, second in Europe and seventh in terms of balance sheet. It took three years for this merger to become a success.