2019: 16 anniversary dates from the BNP Paribas history that are worth noting



  • Banks & Financial Institutions
  • Historical Events

The history of BNP Paribas spans nearly two centuries and reaches across all continents. This new year is another opportunity to (re)live some of our highlights. From Paris to Mexico, stopping over in Rome and New York: discover the bank’s anniversary dates to remember in 2019.

16 key dates in 2019


Creation of the Banque de Paris

A group of high finance institutions joined forces to create the Banque de Paris, forerunner of Paribas, in a context of banking concentration. Its headquarters are located at 3 rue d’Antin in Paris.


Rebirth of the CNEP

The Comptoir National d’Escompte de Paris (CNEP) is reconstituted under the leadership of Alexis Rostand after a crash due to operations on copper market.


A train from Peking to Hankow

The construction of the first Chinese railway line from Peking to Hankow began. Three of BNP Paribas’ forerunners are involved in this major project: CNEP, Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas and Société Générale de Belgique (Fortis’ forerunner).


United States, Luxembourg, Poland

  • After several attempts in the last third of the 19th century, the CNEP set up a permanent presence in the United States by creating a subsidiary in New York, the French American Banking Corporation (FABC).
  • The Banque Générale de Luxembourg (BGL) was created on the initiative of the Société Générale de Belgique (Fortis forerunner) and leading figures in the Luxembourg business world. At this time, the Duchy was marked by a weak post-war banking development.
  • The Polski Panstwowy Bank Rolny, forerunner of BGŻ, was created in Poland to provide loans dedicated to equipping farmers and buying land. Over the years, BGŻ has become the leader in agri-business and BNP Paribas becomes the majority shareholder in 2014. Our former subsidiary in Poland, BNP Paribas Bank Polska merged with BGŻ in 2015 to form BGŻ BNP Paribas.

Expansion of BNL

BNL, the Italian subsidiary of BNP Paribas, opens its first foreign branch in Madrid.


Africa and Latin America

  • The Bristish & French Bank, a CNEP subsidiary in the United Kingdom, opens its first branch in Lagos, Nigeria (Africa).
  • The Banque Nationale pour le Commerce et l’Industrie (BNCI), a forerunner of BNP Paribas, establishes itself in Mexico. It gradually expanded its activities in Latin America (Uruguay in 1951, Colombia in 1954), which then offered opportunities for machinery and manufactured products.

A holding for specialised financing

Jacques de Fouchier, founder of Cetelem, creates the Compagnie Bancaire, a group that brings together a range of specialised financing services set up in 1946: leasing, consumer credit, life insurance. In 1998, the Compagnie Bancaire merged with Paribas.


The conquest of the American West

In order to expand its presence in the western United States, BNP acquires Bank of the West, an already century-old regional institution (1874). Its headquarters are located in San Jose in the heart of the future Silicon Valley.


In Japan

BNP opens a branch in Osaka, a real financial and industrial centre in Japan.


BNP returns to Vietnam

BNP opens a representative office in Ho Chi Minh Ville in response to a change in local regulations. The activity of this office is focused on the development of commercial relations between France and Vietnam.


Creation of Arval

Arval was created in 1989 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BNP Paribas. It specialises in long-term fleet management.


Birth of BNP Paribas Group

BNP launches a double PEO (Public Exchange Offer) for Société Générale and Paribas which, once the stock market battle is over, leads to BNP taking control of Paribas. BNP Paribas Group is created in May 2000.


Merger with Fortis and BGL

BNP Paribas strengthens its European foothold by acquiring the Belgian branch of Fortis Group and BGL in Luxembourg. These two branches adopt the names of BNP Paribas Fortis et BGL BNP Paribas.


Setting up BP2S in Pantin

A new life opened up for Grands Moulins de Pantin (Pantin flour mills), a monumental icon of the industrial heritage of north-eastern Paris, when BNP Paribas Securities Services staff employees moved in from Paris.


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    Well of History

    Since 1822, history has made us a key player and a witness of transformations taking place in society and economy in Europe and around the world. We invite you to share in our story and explore our archives to learn more about our constantly changing world.
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