BNP Paribas is a French international banking group. It is the world’s 8th largest bank by total assets, and currently operates with a presence in 75 countries. It was formed through the merger of Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) and Paribas in 2000, but has a corporate identity stretching back to its first foundation in 1848 as a national bank. It is one of three major international French banks, along with Société Générale and Le Crédit Lyonnais. The group is listed on the first market of Euronext Paris and a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index, while it also included in the French CAC 40 index.
With both a retail banking section and investment banking operations, the bank is present on all five continents. Its retail banking networks serves more than 30 million customers in its three domestic markets, France, Belgium and Italy through several brands such as BNL and Fortis. The retail bank also operates in the Mediterranean region and in Africa. In the Americas, it operates in the western United States as Bank of the West and is Hawaii’s most important banking group through its majority-owned subsidiary First Hawaiian Bank. As an investment bank and international financial services provider for corporate and institutional clients, it is present across Europe, the Americas, and Asia.
BNP Paribas is the largest French banking group and the largest bank in the Eurozone. It became one of the five largest banks in the world following the 2008 financial crisis. Despite some legal difficulties in the United States in 2014, including being fined the largest ever sum as reparation for violating US sanctions, it remains one of the ten largest banks worldwide.