“Lets grow together”: the privatisation of BNP in 1993

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This photo shows the scenography created to shoot the film promoting the privatisation of the BNP in 1993. Based on an idea of the French artist, Jean-Paul Goude, this advertising presents a banker’s mission by conjuring up a pedalling cyclist: oil the economy’s administrative machinery and bring projects to life.

In France, a new wave of privatisations started in the spring of 1993, following the legislative elections. As such, the law of 19 July 1993 announced the privatisation of 21 public groups, including the Banque Nationale de Paris, the CIC group and Crédit Lyonnais for the banks. This operation was supposed to let the BNP strengthen its competitiveness worldwide and compete on a level playing field with its foreign competitors.

Michel Péberau, the successor of René Thomas and architect of the successful privatisation of Crédit Commercial de France, took on the project. Raising the awareness of the future shareholders was built on four phases: an image campaign, a “pre-marketing” phase, the public sales offer and finally a results tracking phase.
The public sales offer was launched on 5 October 1993. The first assessment of the operations was very positive: there were 2.8 million individual shareholder subscribers. More than nine out of 10 employees became shareholders and 15 major French industrial and institutional groups acquired a stake in BNP.

BNP Paribas Historical Archives
BNP Paribas Historical Archives
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