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BNP Paribas opens its first trade center in Lyon

A New Approach to Financing International Trade - BNP Paribas has just opened in Lyon the first of its Trade Centers especially dedicated to financing international trade.

With this new approach, the Bank plans to offer its corporate customers a world-class network of centers with special local and personal services focusing on international trade, an area in which BNP Paribas ranks among the top five global leaders.

After the Lyon center, 14 other centers will open their doors in 2000: Angers, Lille, Le Havre, Marseille, Strasbourg, Paris Main Branch, La Défense and St Denis in France. Other international centers will open in Singapore, Hong Kong, Montreal, San Francisco, Casablanca and Abidjan.

Organized around a network of international trade experts and advisors, the Trade Centers will be similarly structured on the 5 continents and share the same concern for delivering to customers a range of tailor-made international trade related services. The services, based on customers' needs in their core areas of business, are designed to fully support their international business expansion.

The Trade Centers are organized as follows:

- International Trade Business Managers (ITBM) will be our major corporate customers' contact person in studying and tracking international trade operations relating to imports as well as exports. They will be supported in their day-to-day work by specialists in BNP Paribas' Paris offices and throughout our international network.

- International Trade Support Agents (ITSA) will provide technical support to the Trade Center. Their job shall be to provide advice to all customers. They can also provide training to customers' employees on request.

- The Manager of the International Trade Center is responsible for handling day-to-day international trade business operations. He has responsibility for all aspects of the ISO 9002 certification awarded in June 1999 for our entire documentary credit operations.

BNP Paribas is the only bank worldwide that has successfully turned this idea into a fully operational organization focusing on customers with a totally standardized distribution
network, in both developed and emerging countries.

In France, where the Bank is the leader with 29% market share in 1999, BNP Paribas is the only major banking group to offer such services to all its customers, from new small and medium businesses to major corporations.