The creation of the Société Générale des Pays-Bas to encourage industry in 1822

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This document restates the first pages of the deed of incorporation of the Société Générale des Pays-Bas to encourage industry, established in 1822.

If the foundation of the Société Générale des Pays-Bas in 1822 to encourage industry was considerably influenced by the economic concepts and political-financial strategies of the king of the Netherlands, William the 1st, Brussels bankers actively contributed to this project. First they created a restricted workgroup to draft detailed comments on the first version of the articles of the charter established by the royal commission. Their work served as the starting point for the negotiation with the royal commission and the development of the different versions. The primary editors of the document included the bankers François Opdenbergh, Pierre-Joseph Meeûs-Vandermaelen and Jacques Engler. The definitive charter was approved by the royal decree of 13 December 1822.

When Belgium was created in 1830, the Société Générale des Pays-Bas took the name Société Générale de Belgique. Its history is closely tied with the economic and industrial history of Belgium, through its role as an issuing bank, investment bank and the largest financial institution of the country. Following the absorption of the Banque d’Anvers and the Société Belge de Banque in 1965, it became the Société Générale de Banque, which changed its name to the Générale de Banque in 1985. In 1998, the Belgium-Dutch Fortis group acquired the Générale de Banque. And almost 10 years later, BNP Paribas purchased the Belgium branch of Fortis Banque, which became BNP Paribas Fortis.

BNP Paribas Historical Archives
BNP Paribas Historical Archives
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