Our branches “before and after” – Cognac over the 20th century

1895-...

Cognac CNEP's branch, view of the counter - BNP Paribas Historical Archives

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BNP Paribas has been operating in Cognac since 1895. In fact, it was back then that the Comptoir National d’Escompte de Paris (CNEP), a forerunner of the Group, opened up a branch there on Place François 1er in a 19th-century building. See pictures illustrating how this building, which the bank has been in for 122 years, has changed.

 

The CNEP years

After its rebirth in 1889, CNEP set up a huge banking network across France. Branches spread to the country’s industrial and commercial cities. CNEP focused on shopping streets, boulevards, crossroads and prestigious locations such as Place François 1er in Cognac.

 

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Seven years separate these two photos, but the aesthetic of the remarkable building facade has changed very little. It is still adorned with a pediment, a head of Mercury – the god of commerce – and the bank’s sign underneath a clock. Two pilasters frame the centre window on the second floor. All these elements are meant to convey the image of the company’s reputation and stability. The right-hand photo dates from 1957, a period during which CNEP undertook to expand its network.

From BNP to BNP Paribas

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In 1973, the Place François 1er branch still sports its style, the original pediment and clock still presiding over the building facade. The main decorative elements are recognisable. Yet the bank’s sign now bears the name BNP, acronym for Banque Nationale de Paris, created in 1966 by the merger of CNEP and the Banque Nationale pour le Commerce et l’Industrie (BNCI). In the 2017 photo, you can see a cash (or ATM) machine on one of the bank’s walls, allowing customers to carry out cash transactions at all times. Ever since the merger of BNP and Paribas in 2000, the BNP Paribas Cognac branch has continued the tradition begun by CNEP 122 years ago in its Rue François 1er location.

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The personal data collected from the Site are subject to data processing by BNP Paribas to enable access to and use of the functionalities offered by the Site www.histoire.bnpparibas.
Pursuant to the French Data Protection Law No. 78-17 of 6 January 1978, you are entitled to access the data collected by BNP Paribas and to have it amended, updated or deleted, where such information is incorrect, incomplete or outdated. You can exercise this right by contacting: BNP Paribas – APAC TDC Val de Marne, TSA 30233- 94729 FONTENAY SOUS BOIS Cedex.

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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.
Jean Lemierre Jean Lemierre,
Chairman
of BNP Paribas