Rue Grenette: a Group’s landmark address in Lyon, France
27.04.2016 | History
In Lyon, rue Grenette, is situated, one of BNP Paribas’ remarkable buildings, characterized by its eclectic style and its Neo-Renaissance embellishments. Built in the “Vieux Lyon” – Old Lyon- which was designated a UNESCO world heritage site, this construction hosts the ancestor banks of the Group since 1922, from de la Banque nationale pour le commerce et l’industrie (BNCI) to the Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP).
From Quai de Retz to Rue Grenette
These national-calibre financial newcomers did support Lyon’s booming economy yet they were fiercely competing with the local banks in their traditional markets. Under the same circumstances, in 1910 the Comptoir d’Escompte de Mulhouse (CEM) acquired Banque De Riaz Audra & Cie, which was founded by a Swiss cloth manufacturing family towards the end of the 18th century at 10, Quai de Retz (nowadays called Quai Jean-Moulin), a prestigious address at the time.
In October 1914, Banque Nationale de Crédit (BNC), a French affiliate set up in 1913 to take over the French branch network of the Alsace-based CEM headquartered in German territory at the time, acquired the whole block at 39-41 rue Grenette. Without delay, the bank launched the construction of a new building for its Lyon branch, which was feeling both cramped in the old offices and distant from the bank district.
Local branch and regional management
From the day it opened in September 1922, the Lyon-Grenette branch was BNC’s largest. As a busi-ness unceasingly committed to customers and communities, it was successfully transferred to the Banque Nationale Pour le Commerce et l’Industrie (BNCI) and later the BNP. One of the first regional back-office was implemented as early as 1936, to handle accounting and collection for Southeastern France. Later on, in 1975, Rue Grenette became home to the first Regional Division and in 1988 accommodated the first regional dealing room while the sixth floor was renovated and the new roof terrace laid out.
Several renovation projects were carried out especially the lowering of the sills of the three windows at the centre of the façade in 2000, to create a direct access to the new ATM hall, hence broadly opening up the branch in its historic neighbourhood, which is one of Europe’s largest commercial areas.
The building, which is situated in the “Vieux Lyon” (Old Lyon) area that was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1998, today hosts, alongside the Regional Division, a branch plus a Private Banking Centre.