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one of the three largest commercial banks in France. It is the second largest bank in the French system and the 16th largest in the world (1972).
The Crédit Lyonnais was founded in 1863 in Lyon. In its early days it was involved in speculative promotions and functioned primarily as a deposit bank. It was nationalized on Jan. 1, 1946. The board of directors of the Crédit Lyonnais, which is confirmed by the government of France, continues to include representatives of the financial oligarchy and the monopolies. In addition to deposit and domestic credit operations, the bank issues securities, primarily for the government sector of France, and it credits French foreign trade (including trade with the USSR and the other socialist countries). In 1971 the Crédit Lyonnais and other large French banks founded a joint Franco-Rumanian bank.
In the late 1960’s the links of the Crédit Lyonnais with international financial monopolies were strengthened. In 1967 the bank participated in the formation of the international European Medium-term Credit Bank (since Dec. 14, 1973, the European Credit Bank); it was a stockholder until 1972. In 1970 the Union of Arab and French Banks was formed at the initiative of the Crédit Lyonnais (which became owner of 40 percent of the capital of the union), and in the same year the bank concluded an agreement on cooperation and coordination of operations with the Commerz Bank of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). In 1971 it concluded a similar agreement with the Bank of Rome, and in 1972 it reached an agreement on cooperation with Lloyds Bank.
The Crédit Lyonnais has about 2,000 branches in the country, about 1,000 branches abroad, and representatives in the financial centers of the largest countries of the world, including a Moscow office since 1972. In many countries of the western hemisphere and Asia the Crédit Lyonnais shares offices with the Commerz Bank and the Bank of Rome. In 1960 the African branches of the Crédit Lyonnais were reorganized into local banks, with the
Crédit Lyonnais holding 49 percent of their capital. The bank has 17 subsidiary banks in the countries of the franc zone, three in Latin America, and one each in Dubayy, Iran, Lebanon, Nigeria, and Portugal. On Jan. 1, 1973 the overall balance total of the bank was 92.7 billion French francs, with 900 million in fixed capital and reserves, 75.1 billion in deposits, and 56.8 billion in loans and account transactions.
K. A. SHTROM