of the Netherlands, to promote industry even before Belgium became a country. After Belgium became independent in 1830 the company continued as the national bank under the name Société Générale de Belgique, and later absorbed the Compagnie Générale d Épargne et de Retraite (CGER), founded in 1865. Banque Générale du Luxembourg, set up in 1919 by Société Générale de Belgique, adds its own chapter, telling of the development of financial services in the Grand Duchy. BNL, founded in Rome in 1913, has always been a loyal partner to the Italian economy, and its renowned expertise in financing the Italian film industry goes back to 1935. Bank of the West took root in the American West in 1874 and First Hawaiian Bank began offering its services in 1856. TEB, a pioneer in private banking in Turkey, is the descendant of a regional bank established in 1927.
The BNP Paribas Group has come through the crisis which has been shaking the financial system since 2007, not only unscathed but actually stronger than before. This is largely due to its proven risk monitoring procedures, stable governance the positions of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer having been separated in 2003 and the commitment and dedication of its staff. Faced with many changes in the global economic environment, the Group has demonstrated how integrating differing histories and cultures into a single entity can be a tremendous advantage in helping to address in a creative way the challenges of financing the economy and of meeting customer needs in the 21st century.
Observing the history of the BNP Paribas Group, we can identify a number of characteristics and values which have been forged, passed on and acquired, sometimes under difficult circumstances, over time and through the expansion of the Group: a long international, multi-cultural tradition; a consistent policy of working closely with industry and business on the one hand, striving to meet their needs; while on the other hand maintaining a strong local service for individual customers; high-level expertise and rigorous risk analysis; a culture of innovation, creativity and commercial vitality; an ability to integrate different cultures and histories.
Roger Nougaret HEAD OF GROUP HERITAGE & HISTORICAL ARCHIVES