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Launch of BNP Paribas Competence Centres in Brussels

Specialist banking services for internationally operating companies

Four Competence Centres have been launched today at the headquarters of BNP Paribas Fortis. These Brussels-based Competence Centres will offer – on behalf of the BNP Paribas Group – a range of European and global banking services to internationally operating companies. Particularly involved are Corporate & Transaction Banking Europe, Global Cash Management, Trade Services and Global Factoring.

• Corporate and Transaction Banking Europe services the BNP Paribas group's large and midcap international clients. CTBE focuses particularly on helping its clients' subsidiaries in the 16 countries where it has more than 30 Business Centres (the remainder of the 120 or so Business Centres are located in Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland and Turkey).

• Cash management provides companies with liquidity management services, as corporates are increasingly looking for global and homogeneous solutions at European level, e.g. SEPA solutions, cash pooling, payment factories. Meanwhile, these companies continue to need comprehensive local offerings.

• Trade Services assists companies in their international trading activities, providing, for instance, international guarantees for commercial agreements between parties in different countries.

• Global Factoring provides domestic and multi-domestic factoring solutions throughout Europe, including financing, debt collection and accounts receivable management

All the Competence Centres aim to help internationally operating companies – both mediumsized and large – with their day-to-day banking activities. The offering of the Competence Centres to clients in the home markets of BNP Paribas, i.e. France, Italy, Luxembourg and Belgium, will be much more extensive than in the past: it will not only strengthen our presence in all the countries of Europe, but will also include more services for medium-sized companies that operate internationally.

The Brussels-based Competence Centres, Steering Centres and Shared Services Centres, which should make the group stronger and more European, employ 1,200 people in Belgium, 550 of whom are in new positions.

About BNP Paribas Fortis
BNP Paribas Fortis offers a comprehensive package of financial services for retail customers, wealthy individuals, companies, public and financial institutions for which it can draw on BNP Paribas' know-how and international network.

About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas is one of the 6 strongest banks in the world according to Standard & Poor's. With a presence in 84 countries and more than 201,700 employees, BNP Paribas is a global-scale European leader in financial services. It holds key positions in its three activities: Retail banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking. The Group benefits from its four domestic markets: Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg. The bank also has a significant presence in the United States and strong positions in Asia and the emerging markets.