Banque Nuger S.A.

5 place Michel de l'Hospital
Clermont-Ferrand, 63000
Telephone: (+33 4) 73 42 73 42
Fax: (+33 4) 73 42 73 15
Web site:

Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Crédit du Nord
Employees: 152
NAICS: 522110 Commercial Banking

Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Banque Nuger S.A. is a medium-sized regional French bank that operates exclusively in central France, with its core operations based in the Puy-de-Dôme department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. The bank has more than 20 branch offices, including in three other Auvergne departments (Allier, Cantal, and Haute-Loire) as well as in the departments of Cher and Nièvre. Banque Nuger has long distinguished itself as a financial motor for the region's industrial development, and the bank's corporate and professional clientele remain the largest part of its operations. It is a subsidiary of the French bank Crédit du Nord, which operates on a national scale as a union of eight regional banks: Banque Nuger; Banque Courtois, France's oldest bank, in Toulouse; Banque Tarneaud, in Limoges; Crédit du Nord, serving the north of France; Société Marseillaise de Crédit, serving the south of France; and the banks Kolb, Laydernier, and Rhône-Alpes. Altogether, Crédit du Nord encompasses more than 850 branch offices, 2 million personal banking clients, nearly 250,000 professional clients, and 50,000 corporate clients. Crédit du Nord is itself a subsidiary of Société Générale, one of France's largest banks.


Born in Clermont-Ferrand in 1897, André Nuger came from a prominent local family. His father, Antoine Nuger, served as a lawyer representing André and Edouard Michelin as they set about establishing one of France's great industrial empires of the 20th century. Antoine Nuger was closely involved in the growth of the Michelin tire company, traveling extensively to help negotiate the purchases of rubber plantations, while also representing the company's trademark and other legal interests back in France. Michelin's industrial empire in turn stimulated Clermont-Ferrand's emergence as one of France's leading industrial basins.

In the aftermath of World War I, however, many of the region's budding manufacturers found it difficult to raise the capital to launch and expand their businesses. France's major banks, primarily located in Paris, were not willing to take a risk on the Auvergne region and its largely agricultural economy. Although slated to become the largest city in the region, Clermont-Ferrand lacked a strong regional bank willing and able to fill the gap.


Banque Nuger's low overhead, along with its relatively small size, limited its exposure to the 1929 stock market crash that precipitated the Great Depression. Instead, Banque Nuger thrived amid the difficult economic conditions, as André Nuger hit upon a new strategy for shoring up the bank's financial foundation, while pursuing his goal of stimulating the growth of his industrial clients. In 1929 Nuger began recruiting a new class of clients, developing Banque Nuger as a savings bank for the region's farmers. Nuger himself took to visiting neighboring villages, such as Combrailles, Maringues, and Pontgibaud, on market days to offer farmers his banking services. Banque Nuger then converted its farming clientele's savings into loans to its industrial clients, permitting them to carry out their own capital investments to ensure their growth.

Banque Nuger's business model proved successful, and by 1930 the bank had opened its first branch office, in Riom, a town just north of Clermont-Ferrand. The company also expanded its original Clermont-Ferrand office, gradually taking over neighboring apartments until it owned the entire building. This was to remain the bank's headquarters and central branch up until the early 21st century. Banque Nuger's expansion during the 1920s and 1930s was all the more remarkable given that many other French banks were either failing or struggling to maintain their own operations.

Banque Nuger continued to add new branches in Clermont-Ferrand and surrounding villages, while remaining modest in scale and focused on the local market. The company took a highly personalized approach to its clientele, developing strong relationships with its individual customers as well as its growing list of professional and corporate clients.

André Nuger's son Pierre Nuger joined the bank soon after World War II. The younger Nuger held a law degree from France's prestigious École Libre des Sciences Politiques in Paris. In 1951 Banque Nuger reincorporated as a limited liability company, taking the form of a Société en Nom Collectif, under the names of both André and Pierre Nuger.


With Pierre Nuger on board, Banque Nuger carried out a more ambitious expansion, acquiring a regional rival, Banque Dumont Sabatier, which had branches in Arlanc, in the Puy-de-Dôme department, and in Chaise Dieu, in the neighboring Haute-Loire department. The acquisition proved an exception for Banque Nuger, which relied for the most part on its own organic expansion for growth.

André Nuger died in 1958, at the age of 61, leaving Pierre Nuger to take over as leader of the family-owned bank. The company reincorporated again, as a limited partnership, or Société en Commandité Simple, with Pierre Nuger as the primary active partner and president.

Under Pierre Nuger's leadership, Banque Nuger continued to build upon its dual role as a provider of savings services and products to its personal banking clientele, and as a provider of loans and other funding for the region's industrial actors. The company remained a small player in the French banking market, however, as the country's financial industry was undergoing a major consolidation phase, leading to the creation of a few large-scale commercial banks that came to dominate much of France's banking sector.

To ensure its independence, Banque Nuger sought out a larger partner. The bank's choice was Banque de l'Union Parisienne, a corporate banking specialist, which acquired a stake in Banque Nuger in 1970. The presence of this strong shareholder enabled Banque Nuger to expand during the decade, adding new branch offices in Clermont-Ferrand, as well as in Ambert, Aubière, and Issoire.

In 1974, however, Banque de l'Union Parisienne was taken over by Crédit du Nord. Founded in Lille in 1848, Crédit du Nord grew into one of the largest banks serving France's northern regions. The bank moved its headquarters to Paris in 1927, and by the time of its merger with Banque de l'Union Parisienne, it had already grown into one of France's largest regional banks. The purchase of Banque de l'Union Parisienne also brought Banque Tarneaud, based in Limoges, into the Crédit du Nord fold. This bank had been founded in 1809 and had become a Banque de l'Union Parisienne subsidiary in 1966.

André Nuger founds Banque Nuger in his apartment in Clermont-Ferrand.
The bank opens its first branch office in Riom.
Banque Nuger becomes a subsidiary of Crédit du Nord.
Crédit du Nord becomes the bank's majority shareholder.
Christian Bonhomme is appointed president of Banque Nuger.


With its independence assured, Banque Nuger continued its growth throughout the 1980s. The bank added six branch offices during the decade, including in Chamalières and Thiers. At the same time, Banque Nuger began to position itself as a truly regional bank, extending its reach into neighboring departments, including Allier with the opening a branch office in Cournon and another in Montluçon in 1992.

Meanwhile, Banque Nuger underwent a changing of the guard, as Pierre Nuger retired to become the bank's chairman, turning over the presidency to Marcel Boubat and then to Patrick Saillant in 1984. The Nuger family nonetheless remained active in the bank's management, notably after Pierre's son, Nicolas Nuger, joined the bank in 1992.

In 1996 Banque Nuger officially became a subsidiary of Crédit du Nord, which itself had become a subsidiary of French banking giant Paribas during the 1980s. Banque Nuger then installed a new board of directors, with Saillant as chairman. At that time Nicolas Nuger was named to the bank's board of directors and also became its communications director.

Crédit du Nord found itself with a new parent company after Paribas sold the bank to Société Générale in 1997. Crédit du Nord added another prominent shareholder in 2000, when the Belgian-based banking group Dexia S.A. acquired 20 percent of the bank. With its new shareholder base in place, Crédit du Nord continued developing its status as a nationally operating grouping of midsized regional banks. These included Banque Rhône-Alpes, created in 1988 through a merger of two existing banks; Banque Kolb, based in eastern France and acquired in 1991; Banque Courtois, based in Toulouse, in 1992; and Banque Laydernier, based in the Savoie region, in 1996. In 2002 Crédit du Nord acquired the Amiens-based Banque Lenoir et Bernard, a small bank with just two branches, which was merged into the bank's other operations the following year.

Banque Nuger and the other regional banks under Crédit du Nord benefited from the parent company's restructuring, launched in 2002, which saw it transfer many of its own branches into its regional subsidiaries. Crédit du Nord continued to support the expansion of its subsidiaries' branch networks through the decade, while also launching a major expansion of its network elsewhere. In 2006, for example, Crédit du Nord opened 54 branches.

Banque Nuger took part in this expansion effort as well, establishing itself in the Cher department with the opening of a branch office in Bourges in 2005. The following year the bank entered the Haute-Loire department, with a branch office in Puy-en-Velay, and the Nièvre department, with an office in Nevers.


Saillant retired in 2008, turning over the bank's presidency to Arnaud Guillemain d'Echon, who had joined Banque Nuger in 1991. The bank, which had remained in its original headquarters building throughout this time, at last moved into new headquarters in 2009. The move did not take the company very far, however, as it transferred its headquarters next door, to 5 place Michel de l'Hospital.

Banque Nuger continued its expansion during the next decade, extending its reach into a total of six departments in three regions by 2013. The following year the bank strengthened its relationship with Crédit du Nord, which acquired a majority stake in Banque Nuger. By that time Crédit du Nord was operating on a fully national scale, having acquired Société Marseillaise de Crédit in southern France in 2010.

Banque Nuger entered a new era with the appointment of Christian Bonhomme as the bank's president in 2017. Bonhomme had more or less begun his banking career with Banque Nuger, having joined the bank in 1988 to serve as manager of its oldest branch, in Riom. Bonhomme remained with Banque Nuger until 2000, when he took a position with Crédit du Nord. Over the next 17 years he worked for the parent company in various capacities, including as president of Banque Courtois.

Under Bonhomme, Banque Nuger set out a number of priorities in 2018, notably to take new initiatives to preserve the bank's high customer-satisfaction levels, while also seeking to expand its assets base with new investment targets, as well as expanding its loan portfolio. With its 100th anniversary around the corner, Banque Nuger intended to remain a key financial partner to its home region.

M. L. Cohen


Consumer; Corporate; Professional.


Arkéa Banque Entreprises & Institutionnels; Banque BCP S.A.S.; Banque Française Mutualiste S.A.; Banque Palatine S.A.; Banque Populaire Val de France; Boursorama S.A.; Caisse Régionale de Crédit Agricole Mutuel de Centre France; Caisse Régionale de Crédit Agricole Mutuel des Savoie.


“Banque Nuger: Christian Bonhomme Est le Nouveau Président du Directoire.” La Montaigne, October 10, 2017.

Bosse, Marine. “Banque Nuger: Créditeur de Talents!” Le Journal de l'co, April 8, 2013.

Cros, Philippe. “Banque Nuger: 2015, un Année de ‘Référence.’” La Montaigne, March 30, 2016.

Jolivet, Sylvie. “Christian Bonhomme, Banquier Nomade.” Les Echos, February 13, 2018.

“Nuger, une Discrète Banque Régionale Qui Compte 21 Agences sur Trois Régions.” L'cho Republicain, January 28, 2015.

Reyne, Sonia. “Nicolas Nuger (Banque Nuger): ‘100% des Encours de Nos Clients Sont Employés à Délivrer des Crédits à l’Économie Locale.'” Acteurs de l'conomie, May 11, 2018. Accessed August 28, 2018. .

Vernet, Arnaud. “Nuger: une Banque Familiale Créée en 1924 et Qui Compte Toujours.” La Montaigne, January 20, 2014.