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BNP Paribas expands its Mediterranean basin retail banking presence.

Byline: news@cpifinancial.net (Staff Writer)

BNP Paribas Retail Banking said it is continuing to expand its branch networks in the Mediterranean basin, confirming what it described as the region's "dynamic performance as a key growth driver for the group."

At the end of 2008, the bank claimed to have a total presence in the Mediterranean basin of more than 3,900 branches with the opening of nearly 200 new branches. The region also saw the installation of more than 1,000 new ATMs and attracted more than 800,000 new customers.

The 'Mediterranean basin' zone which seems to be a catch all term for a whole swathe of countries which border on the big puddle between North Africa and Europe, includes BNP's two domestic markets of France and Italy, where the it has more than 3,000 branches which it said maintain intensive business relations with the other countries of the Mediterranean basin.

BNL in Italy opened 50 new branches and 230 ATMs in 2008, increasing its network to 750 branches, and gained 155,000 new customers. The group's Mediterranean network in France includes 275 branches and gained 57,000 new customers in 2008.

BNP Paribas added that it has supplemented its French organisation of 4,900 ATMs with the inauguration in Marseille of its first drive-in ATM. However, BNP Paribas said it is also well established in a large number of Mediterranean emerging markets, where the group has gradually built a network that now includes 900 branches and was significantly expanded in 2008.

In Turkey, TEB increased its network to over 336 branches by creating 63 new branches. TEB also has 165 new ATMs and gained more than 190,000 new customers in 2008.

In Egypt, BNP Paribas Cairo claims to have attracted 36,000 new customers, while it installed 27 new ATMs and opened 10 new branches in 2008, raising its network to a total of 52 branches.

In Libya, the group, which entered into a strategic alliance with Sahara Bank in 2007, now operates through a network of 48 branches and has become the second largest bank in the country.

The group also expanded its network in North Africa in 2008 with the opening of 22 new branches and 20 new ATMs for BMCI in Morocco, 13 branches and 22 ATMs for BNP Paribas El Djazair in Algeria, and six branches for UBCI in Tunisia. BMCI gained 41,000 new customers while El Djazair gained 28,000. In 2008, Morocco had a total of nine drive-in ATMs.

All the banking subsidiaries in the organisation have now adopted the 'stars in flight' logo, the BNP Paribas group's corporate "visual identity" (presumably meaning its branding), according to a press release.

Further to the partnership initiated with TEB (Turk Ekonomi Bankasi) in Turkey and the acquisition of BNL in Italy, Turkish and Italian desks have been established in the Mediterranean basin. BNL Italian desks are now located in France, Algeria, Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt. TEB's Turkish desks are operational in Algeria and in Egypt. These offices, it said, support Italian and Turkish companies in their business operations in these foreign markets.

Furthermore, BNP Paribas has a network of Trade Centres dedicated to international customers in the same six countries. In 2008, the Trade Centres' revenues surged by nearly 45 per cent, jumping from E53.5 million ($69.1 million) in 2007 to E77.4 million ($100 million).

2009 CPI Financial. All rights reserved.

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Publication:CPI Financial
Date:Mar 16, 2009
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