The proposal made by BNP Paribas entails a common approach which would form the basis of further joint work on areas of potential cooperation, without prejudice to existing partnerships. BNP Paribas wishes therefore to see the agreement of the Board of Directors of Credit Lyonnais, in accordance with good corporate governance, to open dialogue on the basis of this proposal, as it has done with other shareholders.
It is premature to go into detail about initiatives which would result from this joint work. However, there are two fundamental principles behind the BNP Paribas approach :
1- In retail banking, the objective is to continue the development of the two brands, with two distinct branch networks. These would be strengthened by the more efficient processing capacity that would result from cooperation at an operational level. We would not, of course, envisage abolishing either of the two brands, since this would in our view destroy value as well as being socially damaging. Furthermore, customers are very attached to their brands and would like to see them preserved.
2- More generally, it is intended that any cooperation would be on the basis of mutual respect and the sharing of best practice. BNP Paribas intends to continue to act as it has since privatisation as a socially responsible organisation which seeks to strike a fair balance between the interests of shareholders, employees and customers.