This photo of the inside of the major branch of the Banque Nationale pour le Commerce et l’Industrie (BNCI) in Abidjan, in the Ivory Coast, was taken in 1962 after its renovation. As in metropolitan France, the BNCI reassessed the layout of its premises and customer reception. The main room, large and well-lit, was equipped with a customer reception area, several wickets and 2 glazed cages for the tellers.
The BNCI’s facility in Abidjan goes back to 1940. France was then in a difficult political and economic situation following the 2nd World War, which pushed the BNCI outside of France. The Vichy government forbid it to open new office in metropolitan France. And at the same time, it experienced considerable growth in its unemployed resources, due to the economic downturn. This context led the bank to develop its presence in sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa. Consequently, it established offices in Saint-Louis du Sénégal, Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, Bangui and Douala and took control of the Banque de l’Union Nord-Africaine, renamed BNCI-Afrique.