Customers of BNP Paribas Fortis and its banking brand Hello bank! They will also be able to go to the post office to conduct all their basic financial transactions from January 1, 2024. Conversely, all bpost bank customers will also be able to carry out their transactions at one of the branches of BNP Paribas Fortis. This possibility is the result of the complete acquisition of bpost bank by BNP Paribas Fortis earlier this year.
As of early January 2022, BNP Paribas Fortis had owned 50% of the company since 1995, with the remaining 50% held by bpost. A complete takeover will ensure that bpost bank will cease to exist as a separate institution in a few years. Then the company’s clients become full customers of BNP Paribas Fortis. And in anticipation, from this year, they will already have access to a number of non-life insurance policies such as fire insurance, auto insurance and legal aid insurance offered through the BNP Paribas Fortis network.” CEO Max Gadot.
The merger will have consequences for who is now a client of both institutions. Now their credits are still covered for up to €100,000 per person. As of 2024, this will be the case at only one institution.
BNP Paribas Fortis says current bpost bank staff will receive in-depth training in the coming months. IT systems must also be adapted.
Although BNP Paribas has fully acquired the Fortis bpost bank, the Foundation reserves the right to remain in the bpost offices for at least another seven years. She also uses it. For example, its private and independent clients will be able to provide services for most basic products.
This means that the BNP network is expanding today by 657 touch points. Meanwhile, the big bank’s branch network is shrinking considerably. This year and in the next three years, it will close about 40 branches at a time, leaving about 220 of the current 385 offices in 2025. However, the number of potential touch points is growing globally. “It allows us to serve all of our customers close to their homes,” Jadot said.
Dividends for Paris
Gadot said this when presenting his bank’s annual results for 2021. In addition to the Belgian activities of BNP Paribas, these activities also include those in Luxembourg, Poland and Turkey. Overall, they made a profit of 2.6 billion euros. This is now paid in full as dividends to the French parent company. “Last year we paid 50%, the year before nothing. We can do that because we are very generous in capital and we have strong stores,” Gadot said.
The CEO also discussed economic news. His position predicts 2.5% economic growth in Belgium this year. So far, expectations have been 3.5%, but the war in Ukraine has hampered optimism. “In addition, we see a number of downside risks such as continued high energy prices and a potential reversal in consumer confidence.”
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