specialists, as part of a general wave of concentrations in the banking sector. That same year, Twentsche Bank took over the Industrieele Disconto Maatschappij, which had been established in 1923.

Then in 1960 Almafinex was founded. This was a company which specialised in medium- term lending. At this time Assurantie Bedrijf van Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas (Asparibas) was also set up with a mission to offer clients a full range of brokerage services.

In 1964, Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas shares were listed for the first time on the Amsterdam stock exchange.

The biggest change however was the transformation of the branch into a subsidiary entity in 1968. In fact this new approach went further than just the Dutch branch, as there was a general reorganisation affecting all three European branches in Amsterdam, Brussels and Geneva and also the parent Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas, which changed its status to that of a holding company, re-named Compagnie financière de Paris et des Pays-Bas. When these changes were announced in May 1968, the Bank s general management stressed the importance of the business relationships which existed between the three branches, an argument it used to justify the crossholdings they were instituting: In order for the business relationships which currently exist between our three European branches to continue, we have decided to ask the Belgian bank to take a 20% stake in the Swiss bank and to ask the Swiss bank to take on up to 80% of the capital of the Dutch bank. 89

Results

We have little information on the Amsterdam branch s financial results during this period. From 1953, the branch expanded its lending and treasury business, and this began to make up for the drop in volume of international trade financing operations. These years also saw a considerable growth in the volume of deposits. The succinct comments in the annual reports of Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas give us to understand that over the period as a whole, the branch s results were satisfactory. Moreover, the situation with regard to risk management was also quite healthy as one insider recalls: In 1967, when he left, the manager could say with pride that there were no doubtful debts on the books. 90

89. Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas AGM, 30 May 1968.

90. Note on the history of Paribas Nederland written in 1992 by Mr Visbeek, former head of the documentary department at the Bank in Amsterdam.

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