Banque de l'Indochine

Banque de l'Indochine

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The Banque de l'Indochine was a minting and banknote-issuing bank established in Paris on January 21, 1875, for the territories of France in Asia.

History


Up to World War II, the bank experienced three phases of development. From 1875 to 1888, it functioned as a colonial bank to help the French government manage its colonial properties in South-east Asia. Then from 1889 to 1900, the bank shifted its operations from Indochina
Indochina
The Indochinese peninsula, is a region in Southeast Asia. It lies roughly southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French, Indochine, as a combination of the names of "China" and "India", and was adopted when French colonizers in Vietnam began expanding their territory...

 to China. Thereafter, from 1900 to 1941, the bank represented the interests of the French government in handling the Boxer indemnity
Boxer Protocol
The Boxer Protocol was signed on September 7, 1901 between the Qing Empire of China and the Eight-Nation Alliance that had provided military forces plus Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands after China's defeat in the intervention to put down the Boxer Rebellion at the hands of the...

 and transacted international trade between France and China. It merged with Banque de Suez in 1974 to form Banque Indosuez, which was then purchased by the Crédit Agricole
Crédit Agricole
Crédit Agricole S.A. is the largest retail banking group in France, second largest in Europe and the eighth largest in the world by Tier 1 capital according to The Banker magazine. It is also part of the CAC 40 stock market index....

 group, which operated it as Crédit Agricole Indosuez (CAI), until a 2004 merger with Crédit Lyonnais
Crédit Lyonnais
Crédit Lyonnais is a historic French bank. In the early 1990s it was the largest French bank, majority state-owned at that point. Crédit Lyonnais was the subject of poor management during that period which almost led to its bankruptcy in 1993...

, which created Calyon
Calyon
Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank is Crédit Agricole's corporate and investment banking entity. With a staff of 13,000 employees in 58 countries, Crédit Agricole CIB is active in a broad range of capital markets, investment banking and financing activities...

.

Branches in Asia

City Country Opening Closing down
Tokyo Japan November 1942 September 1945
Yokohama
Yokohama
is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture and the second largest city in Japan by population after Tokyo and most populous municipality of Japan. It lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshu...

Japan July 1941 November 1942
Canton
Guangzhou
Guangzhou , known historically as Canton or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of the Guangdong province in the People's Republic of China. Located in southern China on the Pearl River, about north-northwest of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a key national transportation hub and trading port...

China 1889 unknown
Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

China 1899 1955
Tianjin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

China 1902 unknown
Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

China unknown unknown
Hanoi
Hanoi
Hanoi , is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam...

Indochina 1887 unknown
Haiphong
Haiphong
, also Haiphong, is the third most populous city in Vietnam. The name means, "coastal defence".-History:Hai Phong was originally founded by Lê Chân, the female general of a Vietnamese revolution against the Chinese led by the Trưng Sisters in the year 43 C.E.The area which is now known as Duong...

Indochina 1885 unknown
Guangzhouwan
Kwang-Chou-Wan
Kwang-Chou-Wan was a small enclave on the south coast of China ceded by Qing China to France as a leased territory, and ruled by France as an outlier of French Indo-China...

French colony 1926 unknown
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

British colony 1894 19742
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

British colony 1905 unknown
Port Vila
Port Vila
Port Vila is the capital and largest city of Vanuatu. Situated on the south coast of the island of Efate, in Shefa Province, the city population at last was 29,356, an increase of 55% on the previous census result . This suggests a 2007 population of about 40,000 or around 65% of the province's...

Anglo-French condominium
New Hebrides
New Hebrides was the colonial name for an island group in the South Pacific that now forms the nation of Vanuatu. The New Hebrides were colonized by both the British and French in the 18th century shortly after Captain James Cook visited the islands...

1948 Indosuez incorporated its branches in 1978 to form Banque Indosuez Vanuatu. In 1993, Banque Indosuez sold its operations in Vanuatu
Vanuatu
Vanuatu , officially the Republic of Vanuatu , is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some east of northern Australia, northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea.Vanuatu was...

 to Bank of Hawaii.
Papeete
Papeete
-Sights:* Interactive Google map of Papeete, to discover the 30 major tourist attractions in Papeete downtown.*The waterfront esplanade*Bougainville Park -Sights:* Interactive Google map of Papeete, to discover the 30 major tourist attractions in Papeete downtown.*The waterfront...

French Polynesia 1905 Bank of issue until the mid-1960s. In 1990, Westpac
Westpac
Westpac , is a multinational financial services, one of the Australian "big four" banks and the second-largest bank in New Zealand....

 acquired then Indosuez's operations in Tahiti.
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, east of Australia and about from Metropolitan France. The archipelago, part of the Melanesia subregion, includes the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of...

French colony 1888 Bank of note issue until 1966.


2 Merged with Banque de Suez.

Djibouti


In 1908, Banque de l'Indochine established a branch in Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

. Today, this is Banque Indosuez Mer Rouge
Banque Indosuez Mer Rouge
Banque Indosuez Mer Rouge is the second largest bank in Djibouti and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the French bank Crédit Agricole Indosuez.Banque Indosuez Mer Rouge traces its presence in Djibouti to 1908 when Banque de l'Indochine established a branch there. -External links:**-Source:Meuleau, M...

, which is the second largest bank in Djibouti and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the French bank Crédit Agricole Indosuez.

Banque Française pour le Commerce


In 1925, Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas, Banque de l'Indochine, Banque Lazard and the Chinese government established the Banque Franco-Chinoise pour le Commerce et l’Industrie (BFCCI) to take over the assets of the Banque Industrielle de Chine (est. 1913). The Bank established offices in Peking
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

, Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

 and Teinstsin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

. It also established offices in North Vietnam (Hanoi
Hanoi
Hanoi , is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam...

 and Haiphong
Haiphong
, also Haiphong, is the third most populous city in Vietnam. The name means, "coastal defence".-History:Hai Phong was originally founded by Lê Chân, the female general of a Vietnamese revolution against the Chinese led by the Trưng Sisters in the year 43 C.E.The area which is now known as Duong...

), in Central Vietnam (Vinh
Vinh
Vinh is a city in Vietnam. It is located in the northern half of the country, and is the capital of Nghệ An Province. Politically, Vinh is a municipality within Nghệ An Province. On September 5th, 2008, it was upgraded from Grade-II city to Grade-I city, the fourth Grade-I city of Vietnam after...

, Huë
Hue
Hue is one of the main properties of a color, defined technically , as "the degree to which a stimulus can be describedas similar to or different from stimuli that are described as red, green, blue, and yellow,"...

, Tourane (Da Nang)
Da Nang
Đà Nẵng , occasionally Danang, is a major port city in the South Central Coast of Vietnam, on the coast of the South China Sea at the mouth of the Han River. It is the commercial and educational center of Central Vietnam; its well-sheltered, easily accessible port and its location on the path of...

 and Qui Nhơn
Qui Nhon
Qui Nhơn , also Quy Nhơn, is a coastal city in Binh Dinh province in central Vietnam. It is composed of 16 wards and five communes with a total of 286 km². Quy Nhon is the capital of Bình Định province. As of 2009 its population was 280,900. Historically, the commercial activities of the city...

), South Vietnam (Saigon
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City , formerly named Saigon is the largest city in Vietnam...

), and Cambodia (Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Phnom Penh has been the national capital since the French colonized Cambodia, and has grown to become the nation's center of economic and industrial activities, as well as the center of security,...

). By 1939, only the Hanoi, Saigon and Phnom Penh branches remained in French Indochina
French Indochina
French Indochina was part of the French colonial empire in southeast Asia. A federation of the three Vietnamese regions, Tonkin , Annam , and Cochinchina , as well as Cambodia, was formed in 1887....

. At the same time, the bank had three offices in France (Paris, Lyon
Lyon
Lyon , is a city in east-central France in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. Lyon is located at from Paris, from Marseille, from Geneva, from Turin, and from Barcelona. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais....

 and Marseille
Marseille
Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...

).

In 1951, concerned about its geographical concentration in the high-risk region of Indochina, BFCCI sought to diversify by establishing branches in Madagascar. After the French defeat in 1954 at Diên Biên Phu
Dien Bien Phu
Điện Biên Phủ is a city in northwestern Vietnam. It is the capital of Dien Bien province, and is known for the events there during the First Indochina War, the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, during which the region was a breadbasket for the Việt Minh.-Population:...

, BFCCI closed its offices in North Vietnam. However, the bank started to expand in South Vietnam and Cambodia. The next year, BFCCI finally left China, its branches having been inoperative for some time.

In 1960, the Banque de l'Indochine purchased the shares in BFCCI that Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas and Banque Lazard had held. Three years later, Prince Sihanouk nationalized the banking sector in Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

, though BFCCI was allowed to retain a representative office. (In 1975, during the terror launched by the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

, the representative — an ethnic Chinese — and his family all disappeared.) In 1964, BFCCI changed its name to Banque Française pour le Commerce. The next year, the government of South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

 wished to create a domestic bank sector. BFC participated in the creation of Banque pour le Commerce, l'Industrie et l'Agriculture (BCIA) — Nong Cong Thuong Ngan Hang in Vietnamese — under the control of a young South Vietnamese seconded from BFC.

A change in French law in 1967 liberalized branching, enabling BFC to increase the number of its branches in France. The next year, BFC changed its name to Banque Française Commerciale.

Political turmoil cost BFC several operations in 1975. The operations in Madagascar had been satisfactory until political turmoil commenced in 1972. Then in 1975, the Malagasy Republic nationalized its branches there and transferred them to the Banque Financiere et Commerciale Malagache. Also, the fall of Saigon reduced the BFC Group in Vietnam to inactivity. The authorities liquidated the bank and seized its assets; the expatriate staff returned to France.

BFC decided to transfer its operations in the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

 and in 1976, established a branch in Réunion
Réunion
Réunion is a French island with a population of about 800,000 located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, about south west of Mauritius, the nearest island.Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France...

. BFC also established operations in Mayotte
Mayotte
Mayotte is an overseas department and region of France consisting of a main island, Grande-Terre , a smaller island, Petite-Terre , and several islets around these two. The archipelago is located in the northern Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean, namely between northwestern Madagascar and...

 at the request of the French Government after the island lost all banking services when it split from the Comoros
Comoros
The Comoros , officially the Union of the Comoros is an archipelago island nation in the Indian Ocean, located off the eastern coast of Africa, on the northern end of the Mozambique Channel, between northeastern Mozambique and northwestern Madagascar...

 and voted to stay linked to France. BFC also acquired Banque Antillaise and opened a branch in French Guyana. Two years later, BFCOI opened a branch in the Seychelles
Seychelles
Seychelles , officially the Republic of Seychelles , is an island country spanning an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, some east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar....

. The next year, BFC absorbed Banque Antillaise, together with its branches in French Guyana (2), Guadeloupe (7), and Martinique (3), and established a branch in Dominica.

In 1984, BFC restructured itself as a holding company. It established three legally and operationally distinct companies: Banque Française Commerciale en France Métropolitaine (BFC) to hold the branches in France, Banque Française Commerciale Océan Indien
Banque Française Commerciale Océan Indien
Banque Française Commerciale Océan Indien is a French bank that since 2003 has been jointly owned by Mauritius Commercial Bank and Société Générale. It has its headquarters in Saint Denis, Réunion...

 (BFCOI) to hold the branches in Reunion, Mayotte and the Seychelles, and Banque Française Commerciale Antilles-Guyane (BFCAG) to take over the branches in French Guyana and the Antilles. Banque Indosuez owned the entire share capital of all three entities. The next year, Compagnie Lyonnaise de Financement Immobiliere acquired BFC's branches in France.

Banque Indosuez sold a majority position (66.66%) in BFCOI to Mauritius Commercial Bank
Mauritius Commercial Bank
Mauritius Commercial Bank , founded in 1838, is the oldest and largest banking institution of Mauritius. It is also the oldest banking institution south of the Sahara and one of the oldest banks of the Commonwealth to have preserved its original name...

 (MCB) in 1996; Banque Indosuez retained 22.22%. The next year, BFCOI opened a branch in Paris. In 1997, BFCOI opened a representative office in Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

.

In 2000, MCB acquired the minority stake Crédit Agricole Indosuez
Crédit Agricole
Crédit Agricole S.A. is the largest retail banking group in France, second largest in Europe and the eighth largest in the world by Tier 1 capital according to The Banker magazine. It is also part of the CAC 40 stock market index....

 held in BFCOI, increasing its stake to 88.88%. This followed the takeover of Banque Indosuez by the Crédit Agricole Group, which itself had operations in both Reunion and Mayotte in direct competition with BFCOI.

Papua New Guinea


In 1983 the government of Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

 invited foreign banks to open affiliates on condition that the foreign parent could only own 49 percent. However, it agreed that Bank of Papua New Guinea
Bank of Papua New Guinea
-Central Banking Act 1973:The Bank of Papua New Guinea was established by the Act of Parliament which defines its powers and functions:...

 (BPNG; the central bank) would buy that portion of the remaining shares that local investors did not take up. Banque Indosuez established Banque Indosuez Niugini—49 percent Indosuez, 41.5 percent BPNG, and the remainder public. In 1997, Bank of Hawaii purchased Banque Indosuez Nuigini Ltd in Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

 from Banque Indosuez and renamed it Bank of Hawaii (PNG) Ltd.

Pacific Ocean


In 1989, Banque Indosuez closed its branch at Mata-Utu
Mata-Utu
Mata-Utu is the capital of the Wallis and Futuna Territory. It is located on the island of Wallis , in the district of Hahake, of which it is also the capital. Its population is 1,191 ....

 in Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna, officially the Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands , is a Polynesian French island territory in the South Pacific between Tuvalu to the northwest, Rotuma of Fiji to the west, the main part of Fiji to the southwest, Tonga to the southeast,...

.

Banque de l’Indochine, opened a branch in Papeete
Papeete
-Sights:* Interactive Google map of Papeete, to discover the 30 major tourist attractions in Papeete downtown.*The waterfront esplanade*Bougainville Park -Sights:* Interactive Google map of Papeete, to discover the 30 major tourist attractions in Papeete downtown.*The waterfront...

, Tahiti
Tahiti
Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia, located in the archipelago of the Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. It is the economic, cultural and political centre of French Polynesia. The island was formed from volcanic activity and is high and mountainous...

 in 1905. It then functioned as the bank of issue until the mid-1960s. Indochine converted its branches into Banque de Polynésie in 1973. Westpac
Westpac
Westpac , is a multinational financial services, one of the Australian "big four" banks and the second-largest bank in New Zealand....

 acquired the bank in 1990, when Indosuez was divesting itself of almost all of its overseas retail banking operations.

Banque de l’Indochine established itself in New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, east of Australia and about from Metropolitan France. The archipelago, part of the Melanesia subregion, includes the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of...

 in 1888. It became the bank of note issue, a role it retained until 1966. Westpac acquired the operations of Banque Indosuez in 1990, but sold them in 1998 to Société Générale Calédonienne de Banque, a subsidiary of Société Générale
Société Générale
Société Générale S.A. is a large European Bank and a major Financial Services company that has a substantial global presence. Its registered office is on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, while its head office is in the Tours Société Générale in the business district of La...

.

In 1993, Bank of Hawaii
Bank of Hawaii
The Bank of Hawaii Corporation is a regional commercial bank headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is Hawaii's second oldest bank and its largest locally owned bank in that majority of the voting stockholders reside within the state...

 acquired Banque Indosuez's operations in Vanuatu
Vanuatu
Vanuatu , officially the Republic of Vanuatu , is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some east of northern Australia, northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea.Vanuatu was...

 to form Banque d’Hawaii (Vanuatu). Bank of Hawaii sold these operations to Australia and New Zealand Banking Group in 2001. Banque de l’Indochine had established a branch in Port Vila
Port Vila
Port Vila is the capital and largest city of Vanuatu. Situated on the south coast of the island of Efate, in Shefa Province, the city population at last was 29,356, an increase of 55% on the previous census result . This suggests a 2007 population of about 40,000 or around 65% of the province's...

in 1948. Indosuez incorporated its branches in 1978 to form Banque Indosuez Vanuatu (BIV). The government of Vanuatu took a 20% stake in BIV in 1983 as BIV was performing a number of central banking functions, though it was not the monetary authority.

Source

  • Meuleau, M. 1990. Des Pionniers en Extrême-Orient: Histoire de la Banque de l’Indochine, 1875-1975. (Paris: Librairie Arthème Fayard).