National Bank of Greece

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The National Bank of Greece (NBG; Greek: Εθνική Τράπεζα της Ελλάδος) is the oldest and largest commercial bank in Greece and heads the strongest financial group in the country. It boasts a dynamic profile internationally, particularly in Southeastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean]. It owns subsidiaries in over 18 countries, including Bulgaria, Cyprus, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Turkey and Egypt.

Founded in 1841 as a commercial bank, NBG enjoyed the right to issue banknotes until the establishment of the Bank of Greece in 1928. It has been listed on the Athens Stock Exchange since the Exchange's foundation in 1880. Since October 1999, the Bank has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange. NBG is a financial institution legally operating subject to the Greek and the European Union banking legislation, specifically the provisions, as currently applicable, of Law 2076/92, which incorporated the second banking directive 89/646/EEC into Greek law. The NBG Group provides a full range of financial products and services that meet the constantly changing needs of corporate customers and private individuals, including investment banking services, brokerage, insurance, asset management, leasing and factoring. [1]

The Bank's branch and ATM network, the largest in Greece (568 domestic banking units and 1370 ΑΤΜs), effectively covers the entire country. It is developing and expanding alternative distribution channels for its products, such as mobile and internet banking. Today, after recent acquisitions in South Eastern Europe the Group's network overseas includes 868 units. One of the Bank's main strengths is the confidence shown in it by its customers, who hold over 9 million deposit accounts and more than 1.5 million lending accounts with NBG. Having reaffirmed its leading position in the Greek market, the bank is further modernizing its operations, backed by investment in new technology, so as to better serve its customers and enhance its profitability. [2]

Headquarters : Eolou 86, 102 32 Athens. Tel. +30 210 3341000


  • NBG was founded in 1841 in Athens, making it the oldest bank in the country. It was not government-owned from its inception but had the right of note issue, which it lost in 1928 when the newly-established Bank of Greece took over as the country's central bank.[3] Its status was changed to government-owned when, during the first World War, the Bank refused to finance new military equipment for the Greek government. The government then issued legislation that permitted it to appoint its own people to the Bank's board.
  • In 1899 NBG acquired the Privileged Bank of Epirothessaly (Pronomiouchos Trapeza Epirothessalias).
  • In 1904 NBG established Banque d’Orient, together with Nationalbank für Deutschland, which almost immediately withdrew from the venture. The Greeks kept the branches in Thessaloniki, Smyrna and Alexandria.
  • In 1907 NBG chose Cyprus as the location for its first branch outside Greece.
  • In 1919 NBG acquired the Bank of Crete (Trapeza Kritis).
  • In 1923 the Treaty of Lausanne provided for a compulsory exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey, leading to the departure of the Greeks from Smyrna, resulting in the closure of Banque d’Orient's branch.
  • In 1930 NBG and Bank of Athens combined their activities in Egypt into a joint subsidiary, Banque Nationale de Grèce et d’Athènes.
  • In 1932 NBG acquired Banque d'Orient (Trapeza Anatolis).
  • In 1939 it established a subsidiary in New York, Hellenic Bank Trust Company.
  • In 1947 NBG established the South African Bank of Athens to serve Greek residents in South Africa.
  • In 1953 the Greek government forced NBG to merge with Bank of Athens to form National Bank of Greece and Athens, later shortened to National Bank of Greece.
  • In 1960 Egypt nationalised all banks in Egypt, including Banque Nationale de Grèce et d’Athénes, which it merged into National Bank of Egypt.
  • In 1965 NBG acquired Trapeza Epagelmatikis Pistis.
  • In 1978 the Greek government permitted the formation of Arab Hellenic Bank with 49% Arab ownership, as an exception to its prohibition on foreign banks owning more than 40% of the equity of a Greek bank. NBG held 51% and provided most of the bank staff. The Libyan Arab-Foreign Bank and Kuwaiti Investment Organisation held 40% between them while other Arab investors held 9%. That same year NBG opened a branch in Cairo.
  • In 1994 NBG incorporated its branches in Cyprus into a subsidiary: National Bank of Greece (Cyprus)
  • In 1995 the Greek government dissolved the insolvent Arab Hellenic Bank at a cost to Greece's Deposit Guarantee Fund of Euro 1.5m in payments to depositors.
  • In 1998 NBG merged with the National Mortgage Bank of Greece (Ethniki Ktimatiki Trapeza Ellados), itself the result of the merger of the National Mortgage Bank and the National Housing Bank of Greece.
  • In July, 2000 National Bank of Greece acquired 89.9% of the United Bulgarian Bank (UBB).
  • In April, 2000, in a joint deal with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and IFC, NBG acquired a majority stake in Stopanska Banka (Skopje, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).
  • In 2002 NBG merged with ETEBA – National Investment Bank for Industrial Development.
  • In 2002 National Bank of Greece's attempted merger with Alpha Bank fell through.
  • In 2003 NBG bought Banca Romaneasca, a Romanian bank, and currently holds 88.7% of all outstanding shares. Banca Romaneasca has 90 branches.
  • In 2005 Bank of Nova Scotia acquired all of NBG's operations in Canada.
  • In 2005, as part of the NBG Group's ongoing effort to improve its portfolio structure and effectively respond to changes in the domestic and international markets, the Boards of Directors of National Bank of Greece S.A. and National Investment Company S.A. decided to merge the two companies through absorption of the latter by the Bank. [4]
  • In 2006 NBG acquired 46% of the shares of Finansbank in Turkey.
  • In 2006 NBG acquired 99.44% of Serbia's Vojvođanska Bank for €385 mn.
  • In 2006 NBG sold its US arm, Atlantic Bank of New York, to New York Community Bancorp for US$400 million (€331 million) in cash. Proceeds from the sale will help finance further acquisitions in southeast Europe.
  • On January 9, 2007 the National Bank of Greece announced that it had increased its stake in Finansbank to 80.4 percent. NBG, in a statement issued to the Athens Stock Exchange, said it had acquired the additional 34.4 percent in Finansbank from minority shareholders which adds to its already existing 46% stake. Hüsnü Özyeğin reported in the initial press conference when NBG announced its 46% share purchase that he would have "loved to have been offered National Bank of Greece shares instead of cash, however there were no shares available" (outside of the current shares floated in the free market).
  • On January 25, 2007 NBG announced the merger between National Bank of Greece and National Management & Organization Co (Ethnokarta). Given that NBG holds 100% of National Management & Organization Co (Ethnokarta) shares, NBG’s share capital will not increase following the completion of the merger.
  • On March 21, 2007 NBG concluded the acquisition of P&K Investment Services SA. Following the approvals from the regulatory authorities (the Bank of Greece, the Competition Committee and the Capital Market’s Committee) and the fulfillment of all the remaining conditions of the share purchase agreement, the National Bank of Greece (NBG) and the shareholders of P&K Investment Services SA concluded the transaction today, signing the documents for the transfer of shares of P&K Investment Services SA (parent company of P&K Securities and P&K Mutual Fund Company) to the National Bank of Greece. In 2006, the financial results of P&K Investment Services improved further. Profits after tax (on a consolidated level) amounted to € 10.3mn (+147% compared with 2005), while total shareholders’ funds reached € 31mn from € 21.4mn at the end of 2005. As a result, the total consideration for the acquisition of P&K Investment Services, which had been set at €48.7mn, corresponds to 1.6x the company’s total shareholders’ funds or 4.7x its after-tax profits. With the completion of this acquisition, the largest provider of brokerage and investment services is created in Greece, with the aim of expanding its business in all countries where NBG has a presence.


  1. [1] National Bank of Greece site.
  2. [2] National Bank of Greece site.
  3. Tschoegl, A. 2004. Financial Integration, Dis-integration and Emerging Re-integration in the Eastern Mediterranean, c.1850 to the Present. Financial Markets, Instruments and Institutions 13 (5): 244-284.
  4. [3] National Bank of Greece Press Release (Athens, 13 May 2005)

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