A century of BNP Paribas banking in Poland (1/3) : Banque Franco-Polonaise

1919-...

10 Polish Mark banknote, 1917 - BGŻ BNP Paribas Historical Archives


BNP Paribas finalised the acquisition of BGŻ bank on 23 September 2014, but the group’s ties with Poland are far older, as both Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas and Société Générale de Belgique (BNP Paribas Fortis) financed the Polish economy long before. Let’s look at this lengthy history and at BGŻ, a leading financier in agriculture.

 

Supporting Polish economic development between the wars

Although the Treaty of Versailles asserted the independence of recently recreated Poland when it was signed on 28 June 1919, the country had emerged from the Great War severely weakened and struggled to ensure its unity. Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas contributed to the nation’s economic development in the inter-war years through Banque Franco-Polonaise, which was established in 1920, as did Generale Bank. Société Générale de Banque en Pologne (SGBP) was established in 1919 with the same attributes as its parent company in Belgium to finance the economy.

 

Affiche publicitaire de la Banque Franco-Polonaise, 1928 - Archives historiques BNP Paribas

Advertising of Banque Franco-Polonaise, 1928 – BGŻ BNP Paribas Historical Archives

 

Polish banks experienced a major crisis in 1925 and sorely lacked capital. The SGBP and Banque Franco-Polonaise helped to stabilise the Polish currency in April 1927 by taking out a USD 70 million loan issued by the government. Support from Société Générale de Banque and Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas was encouraged by their respective governments for diplomatic and strategic reasons, which was also expressed in overtures to develop industrial and business relations with the new sovereign nations emerging from the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire. This stimulated key sectors such as transportation, mining, oil, metals and chemistry.

 

Emission de l'emprunt de stabilisation de 1927 de la république polonaise, circulaire relative à la tranche française - Archives historiques BNP Paribas

Issuance of the stabilization loan of the Republic of Poland, 1927. Information memorandum of the French tranche – BGŻ BNP Paribas Historical Archives

 


Read more :

BGŻ, the Polish farming bank

From 1990 to 2015 : a history of “rapprochements

To go further, flip through the book :
BGŻ BNP Paribas: 100 years of banking in Poland, Geoffroy de Lassus et Miraslaw Kluzek, BGŻ BNP Paribas 2016, Warsaw, Paris


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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,
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of BNP Paribas