a large number of banks linked to the Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas, including the Ottoman Bank, whose branches in Alexandria, Istanbul, London and Port-Said used overdraft facilities, Banque Franco-Chinoise pour le Commerce et l Industrie, Banque Franco-Polonaise, Banque Française et Italienne pour l Amérique du Sud, Banque d Etat du Maroc, and Banque des Pays de l Europe Centrale.

Corporate finance

The branch grew its commercial banking business, providing lending to various Dutch companies such as the stockbroker Muinck & Co., N.V. Lever Brothers & Unilever, Asscher s Diamant Maatschappij N.V., Borneo Sumatra Handel Maatschappij (Borsumij), N.V. Tabak Maatschappij (ATAMIJ), R. Boltje & Zonen N.V., N.V. Fridor Fabrieken, N.V. Centrale Suiker Maatschappij and A. & F. Rhodius. Rhodius, a wool broker, was a very international company with offices in Amsterdam, Boston, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Durban, Sydney and Christchurch81. In addition, in 1927 A & F Rhodius was on the list of major shareholders of the international bank N.V. Wolbank in Amsterdam82. This bank s shareholders were banks and wool brokers and it specialised in financing wool deals. At the time Amsterdam was still a major international financial centre for the wool trade.

Among the branch s clients were also a number of subsidiaries of French companies such as N.V. Automobiles Citroën, Ripolin, tyremaker N.V. Nederlandsche Banden-Industrie (Michelin), news agency Havas, automaker Simca Nederland N.V., plus a number of subsidiaries of Belgian companies. A number of deals also took place in France with French subsidiaries of Dutch companies, which in general were guaranteed by the Amsterdam branch. This was particularly the case when bail bonds had to be lodged with the French customs authorities on behalf of the French subsidiaries of the Dutch electric light bulb manufacturer Philips Gloeilampenfabrieken.

81. According to information received from Felix E.R. Rhodius at Wassenaar.

82. Bulletin hebdomadaire d Information et de Documentation of the National Bank of Belgium, année II, Vol. I, N° 21, 28 May 1927.

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88 T H E H I S T O R Y O F B N P PA R I B A S I N T H E N E T H E R L A N D S