Dexia, its history on film



François Narmon and Pierre Richard, the founding fathers of Dexia, surprised everybody in 1996. Indeed, the alliance between Crédit Communal de Belgique and Crédit local de France was the first cross-border alliance to be done in Europe in the banking sector. The initiative anticipated upon the emergence of a single financial market and currency in Europe. The ambition of the new Group was to become the world leader in financial services to local authorities.


François Narmon and Pierre Richard, the founding fathers of Dexia


1996: Birth of a Group

On March 14th, 1996, a leaked information in the press announced – a week early – the intentions of Crédit local de France and Crédit Communal de Belgique to look into a possible rapprochement to better face the economic and monetary Union as of January 1st 1999. Both partners have known each other for a long time. Dexia was officially born on October 23rd, 1996. The new Group had 12,000 employees, was based in 20 countries and ambitioned to become the world’s Nr. 1 in the financing of collective equipment. Dexia focuses on three core businesses: i.e. collective equipment financing, universal banking and private banking, as well as asset management. The alliance is done through cross-participation. Each partner keeps its identity and it’s only internationally that both appear with the same identity. Nevertheless the Group’s structure is complex and means the capital of Crédit Communal needs to be listed on the stock exchange.

1860-2007: Benchmarks

1860 Creation of Crédit Communal de Belgique.

1987 Creation of Crédit local de France.


First listing of Crédit local de France on the Paris Stock Exchange.
Crédit Communal de Belgique becomes majority shareholder of Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (BIL), the oldest established bank in Luxembourg (1856).


Creation of Dexia, through a business alliance between Crédit Communal de Belgique and Crédit local de France. The two partners begin operating as a Group under a structure organized around two holding companies; Dexia Belgium, listed on the Brussels Stock Exchange (BEL20-index), and Dexia France listed on the Paris Stock Exchange (CAC 40-index).


Acquisition of a 40% stake in Crediop, a leading player in the Italian local public finance market.


April: buyout of Banque Internationale à Luxembourg’s minority shareholders.
June: Dexia becomes majority shareholder of Crediop (60%).
June: acquisition in Belgium of Elvia Assurances, renamed Dexia Insurance.
November: Dexia becomes shareholder of Otzar Hashilton Hamekomi (now Dexia Israel).
December: creation of a single holding company, Dexia SA, by means of a public offer by Dexia Belgium on Dexia France shares. Dexia is quoted in Brussels, Paris and Luxembourg. A unified management structure is established for the entire Group.


Dexia acquires FSA, a leading company in credit enhancement for municipal bond issuers in the US, and Bank Labouchere in the Netherlands.


July: Dexia acquires Artesia Banking Corporation in Belgium through a capital increase reserved to Arcofin, Artesia BC’s shareholder.
July: Dexia acquires Kempen & Co through a public tender bid.
December: increase of the equity interest in Dexia Crediop from 60% to 70%.


January: Dexiam and Cordius Asset Management, Artesia BC’s subsidiary, merge to form Dexia Asset Management.
April: Dexia Bank, Artesia Banking Corporation, BACOB and Artesia Services merge under the name Dexia Bank Belgium.
May: increase of the equity interest in DVV Insurance, from 82% to 99%.


July: Dexia sells its monitory stake in Landbouwkrediet NV (Crédit Agricole de Belgique) (Belgium).
September: Dexia takes over the stake of the minority shareholders in its German subsidiary Dexia Hypothekenbank Berlin (now Dexia Kommunalbank Deutschland), active in local public finance.


November: Dexia sells its shares in Kempen & Co.
November: acquisition of FMS Hoche, a specialist fund-administration company based in France.


June: Dexia and Royal Bank of Canada announce the combination of their institutional investor services business in an equally-owned joint venture named RBC Dexia Investor Services (effective since January 1, 2006).
June: DVV Insurance and Dexia Insurance merge to form a new insurance company named Dexia Insurance Belgium.
October: Dexia sells its subsidiary Eural.
December: Dexia has been granted a banking license in Canada and in Mexico.


Axel Miller becomes CEO of the Group and launches a development strategy focusing on two pillars: the international development of public sector financing and universal banking in Europe. 

May: Dexia acquires a controlling interest (75%) in DenizBank, the sixth largest privately-owned bank in Turkey.
October: Dexia opens Dexia Public Finance Bank (Switzerland), a “foreign bank representation” specializing in public finance.
November: Dexia has been granted a banking license in Japan.
December: Dexia sells its subsidiary Banque Artesia Nederland.
December: following a successful mandatory tender offer, the shareholding of Dexia in DenizBank stands at 99.74%.


February: Dexia sells its subsidiary Dexia Banque Privée France.
March: Dexia splits from its subsidiary Belstar.
July: creation of Dexia LdG Banque, a bank issuing letters of pledge.
September: Dexia opens two private banking units in Monaco and Montevideo.



Mr. Pierre Mariani, Chairman of the management board,
Chief Executive Officer


October: Pierre Mariani becomes CEO of the Group.


Did you know?

The origins of the name Dexia

Between creative quest and legal constraints, finding a name for the Group called for true investigative talent. It’s a French agency,   Bessis Marques, specializing in name search, e.g. for by perfume makers and car manufacturers, that was entrusted with the mission. Our specs said the name had to be short, easy-to-read and to pronounce in the main languages and had to allow the Group to evolve in all possible ways. The name also had to be free from any prior copyright to anyone else. Amongst the hundreds of names invented, Dexia finally passed all the tests. Dexia’s main symbol is the X in the middle, which is the sign of multiplication, growth and the alliance of the two founding companies and which also witnesses the partnership that binds both companies to their clients. According to its creator, Pierre Bessis, the name Dexia evokes a “mix of strength and femininity and could be the name of an antique goddess. With the name Dexia the founding banks get away from their rather administrative names that refer to their core businesses to get into the realm of symbolism.”