Banque nationale pour le commerce et l'industrie

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Banque nationale pour le commerce et l'industrie
Former type Limited liability
Industry Banking
Successors BNP Paribas
Founded April 18, 1932 (1932 -April-18)
Defunct 1966
Headquarters Paris, France

National Bank for Trade and Industry (French: Banque nationale pour le commerce et l'industrie) or BNCI was one of four banks that combined to form BNP Paribas.

BNCI was created on the 18 April 1932 replacing Banque nationale de crédit (BNC) which failed as a result of the 1930s recession. The former bank's headquarters and staff were used to create BNCI with fresh capital of 100 millions francs.[1] It was nationalised by the French government together with the other major banks in 1945 and merged with Comptoir national d'escompte de Paris to create Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) in 1966.

History[edit]

Crisis as the origin[edit]

The stock market crash of 1929 put Banque nationale de crédit (BNC), then a major French bank, on the verge of bankruptcy.

To avoid a huge crash in Paris, as well as negative impact on the provincial economy and foreign trade, the French government and a consortium of banks and other companies decide to support the BNC. They forced the director (Andre Vincent, also director of the Comptoir Lyon-Alemand) to resign, and the Bank of France absorbed all the banks debts. However due to the uncertain economic climate of the inter-war period, depositors were still not reassured and under the auspices of the Minister of Finance, the government, assisted by a group of French banks provided an additional guarantee for depositors. However, the economic crisis continues to spread worldwide, and investors continue to withdraw their money so that by 1931 over 75% of deposits had been withdrawn causing the banks share price to slump.

BNC had lost market confidence and it was decided to officially liquidate the bank in April 1932 and to recreate it under a different name with the same staff in the same office (16 boulevard des Italiens à Paris). The ex-BNC is renamed National Bank for Trade and Industry (BNCI) and would grow rapidly absorbing other failed banks, including for example in 1937 the Bank Adam when it was crushed by the 1929 crisis.[1]

The French government appointed François Albert-Buisson, former President of the Commercial Court of the Seine, as its new president. He was assisted by Alfred Pose, the first general director or CEO (former Director of Studies of the Societe Generale Bank of Alsace in Strasbourg).

Pre-war period[edit]

In 1934, BNCI opened a regional administration centre in Bordeaux, this was followed by the creation of seven other regional centers to handle routine branch teller tasks.

Starting in 1937 the bank started to expand into regions by buying a number banks in difficulties, this included the Bank Adam in the north and west of France, Bank of the Alps in the southeast, Bank of Dauphiné, and commercial bank Caisse Saint-Quentin. It also include smaller banks such as the Bank Roque (Brive), the General Bank of Guyenne (Bergerac) and the Bank Dastre (Saint-Gaudens).

Under German occupation[edit]

When Nazi Germany took possession of France, BNCI was one of Frances major banks. Under German occupation, BNCI stagnated in occupied France, however its international network of agencies that covered all major French territory overseas continued to benefit as the development of many activities generate large amounts of capital.

BNCI had major presence in North Africa (in 1940, Alfred Pose is sent on a mission to Algiers to buy and control the Bank of North African union which is then renamed National Bank for Africa Trade and Industry (BNCIA). But the bank also creates new seats in equatorial Africa in Brazzaville, Douala, Bangui and Madagascar, and the West Indies, on the island of Reunion (In 1943, BNCI, bolstering its position in the Francophone world in the south by purchasing "Crédit Foncier de Madagascar and Reunion" to be renamed "BNCI-Indian Ocean" in 1954).

Post World War II[edit]

After French liberation on May 8, 1945 the French government invested heavily in reconstruction. As part of its plans then Finance Minister René Pleven nationalized the five major French banks, including BNCI.

Two years after the end of the Second World War, in 1947, the London branch of BNCI is transformed into a subsidiary and renamed British and French Bank. The Marshall Plan in 1949 reinforces the capital available in Europe and boosted reconstruction, which also profited to European banks.

Decolonization[edit]

To preserve French interests against the risks of nationalization by new States in the process of decolonization, the former bank reorganizing its "colonial" and "Metropole" structure, including creating new subsidiaries, these included:

In the 1950s, BNCI strengthens its position in the domestic retail banking market in France, while at the same time creating specialist services that provided financial advice to French capitalists and entrepreneurs to help them explore new resources or markets in the developing world, even creating a specialized subsidiary in 1958, the Society for International Development Trade and Industry (INTERCOMI).

In 1965, BNCI was the only French bank with such a foreign network.

End of BNCI[edit]

On 4 May 1966, Michel Debré (Minister of Finance) announced the merger of BNCI with Comptoir national d'escompte de Paris (CNEP) under the new name of Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP). BNCI provide BNP with a large international network and significant branch and assets.

BNP remained public until its privatization in mid-1993.

BNP in turn was merged with Paribas in 2000 to form BNP Paribas.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Banque nationale pour le commerce et l'industrie (BNCI) History". Archives nationales. Retrieved February 6, 2013.