Largest Banks in France and Worldwide

6 Largest Banks in France and Worldwide

The largest bank in France has also experienced crises resulting from the banking sectors of the United States and Europe, causing concerns among market participants. Many banks worldwide are closely monitoring their resilience to remain strong and vigilant and to monitor future developments.

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Currently, the banking industry is a highly regulated business with strict supervision compared to some other financial industries. This indicates that the global economic conditions are not favorable.

Largest Banks in France

Largest Banks in France and Worldwide

1. Credit Agricole

Based in Montrouge, France, this bank is the second-largest bank in the country and ranks third in Europe. It is also the largest cooperative financial institution in the world.

Established in 1894 as a lender for the agricultural sector, it has undergone several institutional transformations and has now evolved into one of the world’s giant banks. It’s no wonder that this bank is well-known and reputable in France for meeting financial needs.

2. BNP Paribas

One of the largest banks in France, it resulted from the merger of Banque Nationale de Paribas or BNP and Paribas in 2000. Its administrative base is in Paris, where BNP has employed approximately 200,000 people across 72 countries. Its two main focuses are retail and corporate banking.

The bank serves over 32 million individual customers and 850,000 professionals, SMEs, professionals, and large corporate clients through its retail banking network.

BNP Paribas is the largest banking group in France and the largest bank in the Eurozone. It is one of the five largest banks globally after the 2008 financial crisis. Despite facing legal difficulties in 2014 due to violations of US sanctions, it remains one of the top 10 largest banks in the world.

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3. Societe Generale SA

A multinational financial services company based in France, established in 1864 and headquartered in downtown Paris, with its nearest office in La Defense.

The third-largest bank in France in terms of total assets after BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole, it is also the sixth-largest bank in Europe and the 18th-largest in the world.

Considered a systemically important bank by the Financial Stability Board, it has been subject to direct supervision by the European Central Bank since the implementation of European banking supervision in late 2014.

From 1966 to 2003, it was known as one of France’s large commercial banks alongside Banque Nationale de Paris and Credit Lyonnais.

4. Group BPCE

One of the largest banks in France, it is a large banking group formed by the merger of the two largest retail banking groups in 2009: Groupe Banque Populaire and Groupe Caisse d’Epargne.

In 2021, it became the fourth-largest bank in France, the seventh-largest in Europe, and the 19th-largest in the world by total assets. With over 8,200 branches worldwide and various brands serving 150 million customers, its wholesale banking subsidiary, Natixis, was fully acquired by Group BPCE in 2021. It is also considered a globally systemically important bank by the Financial Stability Board.

5. Credit Mutuel

The largest bank in France falls under the category of French groups in banking, electronic banking, insurance, media, and remote monitoring of housing.

It consists of 2,100 local cooperatives and joint banks grouped into 18 regional federations and formed into a national confederation. In 2019, the group had 34.2 million customers in France, including 7.9 million members and 22,400 elected members.

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With approximately 83,000 employees and 5,535 sales points, it launched various telecommunications activities in 2005 as a virtual mobile operator, Euro Information Telecom, under brands such as CIC Mobile, Credit Mutuel Mobile, Auchan Telecom, NRJ Mobile, Cofidis Mobile, and Cdiscount Mobile.

6. La Banque Postale

La Banque Postale is a French public bank established on January 1, 2006, as a 100% subsidiary of the La Poste group, which had taken over financial services. Its distribution network depends on the postal office system spread throughout the country, with its agents operating on behalf of the bank.

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Initially a private bank with around 11 million customers in 2020, it is best known for providing basic banking services to customers with account rights, savings products, and business diversification into open customer interests and product offerings for asset management.

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